Who knows if he’s telling the truth. What we do know is that after being hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center since Friday for COVID-19 treatment, President Donald Trump claims that he is being discharged Monday.
According to White House physician Sean Conley, Trump is doing well and there is no live virus present that could be transmitted to others. Still, in a press conference this afternoon, Conley acknowledged that COVID-19 is unpredictable and that he “remains cautiously optimistic and on guard” about the president’s prognosis.
In a reckless tweet announcing his anticipated release, Trump wrote, “I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”
Even though the president was allegedly experiencing only “mild symptoms,” including fever, cough, fatigue, as well as two transient drops in oxygen, doctors treated him with Remdesivir. As ESSENCE previously reported, the injection is typically reserved for severe COVID-19 cases. Trump also received an infusion of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail—which is not FDA-approved, but given to the president because he qualified as a “compassionate use” case. Doctors also administered the steroid dexamethasone, zinc, Vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin, and a daily aspirin. Conley has had to walk back at least two misleading statements about Trump’s health—one being an outright lie about the use of supplemental oxygen.
To further prove his commitment to endangering the lives of every single person around him, Trump—still undergoing treatment and very much contagious on Sunday—decided to break quarantine and take a motorcade joyride to wave to MAGA supporters.
“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days,” James Phillips, doctor of emergency medicine at George Washington University and an attending physician at Walter Reed, tweeted Sunday. “They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. 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,” Phillips continued. “The risk of COVID19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play.”
Conley dodged questions about the carelessness of the unnecessary ride, instead saying that Trump had been surrounded by medical and security staff all wearing full PPE (personal protective equipment), and that Secret Service agents were wearing PPE.
The physician also noted that any treatment the president would receive at Walter Reed he could now receive at the White House.