President Donald Trump could be released from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as early as Monday, as he has responded well to treatment for COVID-19 and his condition has continued to improve, doctors said Sunday even as they revealed new details that the president’s condition was more serious than previously disclosed.
“If he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is that we can plan for a discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House where he can continue his treatment course,” Dr. Brian Garibaldi of Johns Hopkins University said in a statement.
As of Sunday evening, Trump wasn’t complaining of shortness of breath and was “walking around,” Dr. Sean Dooley said Sunday. On Saturday night, the president posted on Twitter a four-minute video saying that he was feeling “much better” and thinks he’ll “be back soon.” The White House also released two photos of Trump sitting at desks, looking over paperwork while in the hospital.
Although the president’s team was expressing optimism about his condition and chances for recovery, Conley confirmed that the president had been the steroid dexamethasone on Saturday and had experienced two serious drops in his blood oxygen levels since the onset of the illness.
On Saturday, the Associated Press reported that Trump was administered supplemental oxygen at the White House after his diagnosis and prior to being transferred to the hospital. After the press conference, however, an unnamed White House official told pool reporters that the president’s vitals over the last 24 hours had been “very concerning,” adding that, “We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”
The conflicting information coming out about Trump’s condition has caused some confusion. The timeline of his diagnosis was called into question on Saturday when White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said in his prepared remarks that Trump was “just 72 hours into the diagnosis,” possibly suggesting that the president received his test result earlier than publicly known. White House officials later told reporters that Conley misspoke.
Asked why he didn’t initially disclose that President Trump received supplemental oxygen at the White House, Conley told reporters he wanted “to reflect the upbeat attitude of the team.”
Numerous prominent Republicans have tested positive for COVID-19, include first lady Melania Trump, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, top aide Hope Hicks, senator from Wisconsin Ron Johnson, GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and three Republican senators: Mike Lee of Utah, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
In addition, the president’s personal aide and “body man” Nick Luna tested positive on Saturday.