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White House Official Calls Next 48 Hours 'Critical' For Trump's Care

The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., is seen at sunrise on Saturday.
The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., is seen at sunrise on Saturday.

President Trump's physician, Dr. Sean Conley, told reporters on Saturday morning that Trump was "doing very well." But an official identified as chief of staff Mark Meadows gave a different account.

Updated at 11:55 a.m. ET

White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said Saturday morning President Trump is "doing very well." He said the president's mild cough and fatigue are improving, he has not had trouble breathing and he has not had a fever for 24 hours.

He confirmed Trump is a patient at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He went there Friday afternoon after he tested positive for the coronavirus late Thursday night.

Dr. Sean Dooley, a pulmonologist at Walter Reed, said his liver, kidney and cardiac functions are good.

Trump is not currently on supplemental oxygen, though Conley would not confirm whether he has needed it so far.

Dooley told reporters that the president said this morning, I feel like I could walk out of here today."

Conley said days seven to 10 into the illness are critical and the president's condition at that time will give them a better sense of the course of the illness. He will continue a five-day course of Remdesivir treatment.

The White House says he will stay at Walter Reed for a few days, and it posted a video on Twitter of the president in the White House Diplomatic Room, thanking supporters for their well wishes.

Asked why the decision was made to transfer Trump to Walter Reed, Conley said, "Because he's the President of the United States."

Friday night, Conley released a letter saying Trump is "doing very well" and has started remdesivir therapy. "He has completed his first dose and is resting comfortably," Conley wrote.

Before the president left the White House, he received a dose of Regeneron's polyclonal antibody cocktail, an experimental drug that has shown signs of success in improving symptoms and reducing virus levels in the body. The drug is currently under evaluation but has not received approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The White House reported that Trump was suffering from mild symptoms, including congestion and fatigue.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the president has downplayed the importance of wearing masks and the ongoing threat of the pandemic. During a campaign rally in Ohio last month, Trump told the crowd that the coronavirus affects "virtually nobody."

Several top Republicans, the first lady, campaign officials and White House aides have now tested positive for the coronavirus, upending the presidential campaign just a month from Election Day.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Sam Gringlas
Sam Gringlas is a journalist at NPR's All Things Considered. In 2020, he helped cover the presidential election with NPR's Washington Desk and has also reported for NPR's business desk covering the workforce. He's produced and reported with NPR from across the country, as well as China and Mexico, covering topics like politics, trade, the environment, immigration and breaking news. He started as an intern at All Things Considered after graduating with a public policy degree from the University of Michigan, where he was the managing news editor at The Michigan Daily. He's a native Michigander.
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