President Trump’s doctor and his chief of staff Mark Meadows said late Saturday night that the president was doing much better since his COVID-19 diagnosis, capping off a tumultuous day for the White House.
Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician, said Trump has made “substantial progress since diagnosis” in a statement that was made public by press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
“This evening, he completed his second dose of remdesivir without complication,” he added. “He remains fever-free and off supplemental oxygen with a saturation level between 96% and 98% all day. He spent most of the afternoon conducting business and has been up and moving about the medical suite without difficulty. While not yet out of the woods, the team remains cautiously optimistic.”
Meadows echoed that sentiment on Fox News Saturday night.
He said the president “is doing extremely well. In fact, I’m very, very optimistic based on the current result. […] He’s made unbelievable improvements from yesterday morning, when I know a number of us, the doctor and I, were very concerned.”
He also noted that “yesterday morning, we were real concerned with [the president’s oxygen saturation levels]. He had a fever, and his blood oxygen level had dropped rapidly.”
The former North Carolina congressman also took a shot at the media’s coverage of the president’s health despite conflicting reports about it.
“I think the country indeed was fearful,” he said. “But I can tell you some of the fears were irrational too. I have seen some of the reports and all of the pictures about transition of power and who’s going to replace this person or that person. And while that may make for good clicks on the internet or make for great hyperbole on TV, there was never a consideration and never even a risk with the transition of power. What I find appalling is just taking a real severe health issue that millions of people around the world have had to struggle with.”
During a press conference earlier in the day, Conley explained that the president was doing well and that he was “extremely happy” with the president’s progress so far. However, moments later, an anonymous White House official, who has been confirmed to be Meadows, said the situation was more serious.
“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,” the source said. “We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”
Conley also raised eyebrows for comments he made during the briefing. At one point, he repeatedly appeared to dance around the question as to whether the president needed oxygen. Despite his denials, the New York Times reported that the president was given supplemental oxygen at the White House before he was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
He also caused confusion when he said the president was diagnosed 72 hours ago, and at the time of the briefing, that suggested the president was diagnosed much earlier than previously acknowledged. He and the doctor later corrected the record, explaining that he meant Day Three.
The president has posted both tweets and a video of himself explaining how he’s feeling.
“I came here, wasn’t feeling so well — I feel much better now,” Trump said. “We’re working hard to get me all the way back.”