President Trump has “continued to improve” and respond to treatment for COVID-19 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, his doctors said Sunday, suggesting he could return to the White House as early as Monday if he continues to make progress.
“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,” said Dr. Brian Garibaldi of Johns Hopkins University, who is consulting the president’s medical treatment.
But Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician, also revealed the president had been given a dose of a steroid, dexamethasone, on Saturday, and had experienced two drops in his oxygen levels since the onset of the illness. Dexamethasone has been shown to improve outcomes for patients with severe cases of COVID-19, including those who require supplemental oxygen, but is not recommended for use in patients with milder cases.
Conley said the president’s move to Walter Reed on Friday was prompted by Conley’s concern for the “rapid progression” of his symptoms from Thursday night into Friday morning, with a high fever and low oxygen levels. Conley said Mr. Trump was given supplemental oxygen on Friday before he was brought to the medical center.
In a statement late Saturday, Conley said the president was “not yet out of the woods” but that the medical team was “cautiously optimistic.”
Dr. Sean Dooley, another member of the president’s medical team, said Sunday that Mr. Trump is no longer complaining of shortness of breath and is “walking around.” The president said in a four-minute Twitter video on Saturday night that he is feeling “much better” and thinks he’ll “be back soon.”
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said on Fox News late Saturday that he and Conley had been “very concerned” about Mr. Trump’s health on Friday, as the president’s oxygen was dropping “very rapidly,” but also said he was “very optimistic” and that Mr. Trump was doing “extremely well.”
Several other members of Mr. Trump’s orbit reported positive COVID-19 test results, including Trump 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien, former senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who was admitted to the hospital Saturday afternoon. Nick Luna, the president’s personal aide, tested positive on Saturday, according to two people familiar with the matter.