President Trump to be discharged from hospital Monday
Oct. 5 (UPI) — President Donald Trump’s medical team said he has met the requirements for discharge from the hospital and will return to the White House on Monday evening after three days of treatment for COVID-19.
Acknowledging that Trump “may not entirely be out of the woods yet,” his physician Dr. Sean Conley said in a briefing outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center that the world-class team at the White House medical unit could handle his ongoing treatment.
Conley said Trump hadn’t had a fever for 72 hours and that there was no evidence of the presence of live coronavirus.
He deflected questions about the safety of the White House work environment, where several people have contracted the virus.
Trump said in a tweet announcing his pending discharge that he was “feeling really good.””Don’t be afraid of COVID,” he tweeted. “I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”
The virus has killed more than 210,000 Americans and sickened more than 7.45 million people.
“Don’t let it dominate your life,” Trump tweeted. “We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge.”
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Fox News on Monday that Trump’s health had improved overnight and that the president was ready to get back “to a normal working schedule.”
Trump made a surprise excursion Sunday evening outside the Bethesda, Md., hospital, where was admitted Friday after his oxygen levels dropped. He wore a cloth mask while sitting in the back seat of an SUV and waved at cheering supporters around the hospital. At least two people were seen in the car with him.
Doctors criticized the trip as careless and said it flagrantly flouted precautions designed to contain the coronavirus.
“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater,” Walter Reed attending physician Dr. James Phillips, who is also a doctor of emergency medicine at George Washington University, tweeted.
“Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.”
“That presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack,” he wrote in another post. “The risk of COVID-19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding.”
The Washington Post reported that current and former Secret Service officials criticized the drive, as well as Trump aides.
The White House dismissed concerns about the trip, saying it had been cleared by medical staff.
“Appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the president and all those supporting it, including PPE,” spokesman Judd Deere said. “The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.”
Conley acknowledged this weekend that the president’s oxygen levels had dropped twice since Friday and that he’d been treated with the powerful steroid dexamethasone, which is recommended only for COVID-19 patients who need oxygen, including those on ventilators.
Administering the drug risks a systemic inflammatory response that can lead to lung injury and multisystem organ dysfunction, the National Institutes of Health warns.
Trump has also received three doses of the antiviral drug remdesivir that was authorized for emergency use in May for treating hospitalized patients with the coronavirus.
Dr. Brian Garibaldi said at Monday’s briefing that Trump would get a fourth dose Monday before leaving the hospital and a fifth would be administered Tuesday evening at the White House.
Some experts have voiced concern about a premature release.
“For someone sick enough to have required remdesivir and dexamethasone, I can’t think of a situation in which a patient would be okay to leave on day three, even with the White House’s medical capacity,” University of California, San Francisco professor Robert Wachter told The Washington Post.
Doctors say COVID-19 patients remain especially vulnerable to complications for as many as 10 days after their first symptoms — and sometimes deteriorate suddenly. Trump’s age and weight place him in a high-risk category.
The prospect of Trump quickly returning to the White House was also questioned by former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who said he was more concerned about his health after Sunday’s briefing.
“Sounds very much like [Trump] has inflammatory changes on chest CT,” Gottlieb told CNBC.
First lady Melania Trump, who also tested positive, remains in isolation at the White House.
President Donald Trump hospitalized for COVID-19
Supporters of President Donald Trump rally outside the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday as Trump undergoes treatment for COVID-19. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI |