Speaking on the steps of Walter Reed hospital, Dr Sean Conley said the president had experienced “a few episodes of transient drops in oxygen saturation” and required supplemental oxygen, but otherwise gave an upbeat assessment of his condition.
“The fact of the matter is that he’s doing really well,” he said.
The medical professionals also spent just as much time saying how honoured they were to be treating the president as they did giving actual updates on his condition.
Doctors said Trump has not run a fever since Friday and that his liver and kidney function remained normal after the second dose in a five-day course of Remdesivir, an intravenous antiviral drug sold by Gilead Sciences Inc that has been shown to shorten hospital stays.
Dr Brian Garibaldi said Trump was also given dexamethasone in response to “transient low oxygen levels.”
“He received his first dose of that yesterday and our plan is to continue that for the time being,” Garibaldi said.
He is also taking an experimental treatment, Regeneron’s REGN-COV2, as well as zinc, Vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and aspirin, Conley has said.
Differing assessments of Trump’s health from administration officials on Saturday left it unclear how ill the president had become since he tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday night.
A White House team of doctors said on Saturday morning Trump’s condition was improving and that he was already talking about returning to the White House.
Within minutes, chief of staff Mark Meadows gave reporters a less rosy assessment, saying, “The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”
Meadows, whose initial comments were delivered on condition that he not be identified, altered his tone hours later, telling Reuters that Trump was doing “very well” and that “doctors are very pleased with his vital signs”.
In an interview with Fox News broadcast Saturday night, Meadows revealed that Trump’s condition on Friday was far worse than officials had made public, saying doctors recommended the president go to the hospital after seeing he had a fever and his blood oxygen level dropped rapidly.
Conley commented on the contradictory assessments on Sunday.
“I was trying to reflect an upbeat attitude of the team and the president about the course his illness has had,” Conley told reporters on Sunday. “I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction and in doing so, it came off that we were trying to hide something, which isn’t necessarily true.”
The Reuters/Ipsos poll also shows a majority of Americans think the president could have avoided contracting the virus if he’d taken it more seriously.
And only 34% said they thought that Trump has been telling them the truth about coronavirus since the pandemic began, while 55% said that he was not and 11% were unsure.