BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — President Donald Trump went through a “very concerning” period Friday and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care as he battles the coronavirus at a military hospital, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Saturday.
The comments came after it was revealed that Trump was administered supplemental oxygen Friday morning at the White House before he was transported to the hospital, although staff insisted he had only mild symptoms.
Trump’s doctors, for their part, painted a rosy picture of the president’s health in a press conference at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. But the briefing by Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley and other doctors raised more questions than it answered.
Conley left murky the issue of whether the president needed supplemental oxygen and declined to discuss exactly when he fell ill. Conley also revealed that Trump began exhibiting “clinical indications” of COVID-19 on Thursday afternoon, earlier than previously known.
According to a person familiar with Trump’s condition, Trump was administered oxygen at the White House on Friday before he was transported to the military hospital. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Conley, updating the nation on the president’s condition from Walter Reed on Saturday afternoon, said Trump had been fever-free for 24 hours.
While Conley said the president was not currently on oxygen, he refused to say whether the president had ever been on oxygen, despite repeated questioning.
“Thursday no oxygen. None at this moment. And yesterday with the team, while we were all here, he was not on oxygen,” Conley said. He said that Trump’s symptoms, including a cough and nasal congestion “are now resolving and improving.”
“He’s in exceptionally good spirits,” said another doctor, Sean Dooley.