Donald Trump’s doctors, speaking on the steps of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, on Sunday gave this update on the president’s health.
The full transcript from the address is below:
White House physician, SEAN CONLEY: Good morning.
Since we spoke last, the president has continued to improve. As with any illness, there are frequent ups and downs over the course, particularly when a patient is being so closely watched 24 hours a day. We review and debate every finding, compared to existing science and literature, weighing the risks and benefits of every intervention, the timing as well as impacts a delay may have.
Over the course of his illness the president has experienced two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen saturation. We debated the reasons for this and whether we would even intervene. As a determination of the team based on the timeline from the initial diagnosis that we initiated dexamethasone.
I would like to take this opportunity, given speculation over the course of the illness, the last couple days, update you on the course of his illness. Thursday night into Friday morning when I left the bedside the president was doing well. With only mild symptoms and his oxygen was in the high 90s.
Late Friday morning, when I returned to the bedside, the president had a high fever and his oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94%. Given these two developments, I was concerned for possible rapid progression of the illness. I recommended the president would try supplemental oxygen, see how he would respond. He was fairly adamant that he didn’t need it. He was not short of breath. He was tired, had the fever and that was about it. After about a minute, on only two liters, his saturation levels were over 95%. He stayed on that for about an hour, maybe, and was off and gone.
Later that day, by the time the team here was at the bedside, the president had been up out of bed, moving about the residence, with only mild symptoms. Despite this, everyone agreed the best course of action was to move to Walter reed for more thorough evaluation and monitoring. I would like to invite up Dr. Dr. Dooley to discuss the corn plans.
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Pulmonary critical care doctor, SEAN DOOLEY: Thank you, Dr. Conley. A brief clinical update on the president’s condition, I want to reiterate my comments from yesterday regarding how proud I am to be part of this multi-disciplinary team of clinical professionals behind me and what an honor it it to care for the president here at Walter reed national military medical center.
The president continues to improve. He has remained without fever since Friday morning. His vital signs are stable. From a pulmonary standpoint, he remains on room air this morning and a is not complaining of shortness of breath or other significant respiratory symptoms, is ambulating himself, walking around the White House medical unit without limitation or disability.
‘Our continued monitoring of his cardiac, liver and kidney function demonstrates continued normal findings or improving findings. I’ll now turn it over to Dr. Garabaldi from Johns Hopkins to talk about therapeutics and our plan for today.
Pulmonary critical care doctor, BRIAN GARIBALDI: Thank you, Dr. Dooley. I wanted to reiterate what an honor and privilege it is to take care of the president and be part of such a talented team here at Walter Reed. The president yesterday evening completed his second dose of remdesivir. He’s tolerated that infusion well. We have been monitoring for potential side effects.
He’s had none that we can tell. Liver and kidney function have remained normal. We continue to plan to use a five day course of remdesivir. In response to transient low oxygen levels as Dr. Conley has discussed, we did initiate dexamethasone therapy and he received his first dose of that yesterday and our plan is to continue that for the time being.
Today, he feels well. He’s been up and around. Our plan is to have him to eat and drink, be up out of bed as much as possible torques be mobile. If he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is to plan for a discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House where he can continue his treatment course many thank you very much. I’ll turn it over to Dr. Conley for any questions.
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CONLEY: Just a moment, please. The president wanted me to share how proud he is of the group, what an honor it is for him to be receiving her care here, surrounded by incredible talent, academic leaders, department chairs, internationally renowned doctors and physicians. I would like to reiterate how pleased we all are with the president’s recovery. With that I’ll take your questions.
REPORTER: Dr. Conley, you said there were two instances where he had drops in oxygen. Can you walk us through the second one. And also I’ve got a question for the lung specialist afterwards.
CONLEY: Yesterday there was another episode where he dropped down 93%. He didn’t ever feel short of breath. We watched it and it returned back up. We evaluate all of these and given the timeline where he is in the course of illness, we were trying to maximize everything we could do for him and we debated whether we would even start it. The dexamethasone. And we decided that in this case the potential benefits early on the course probably outweighed any risks at this time.
REPORTER: Did you give him a second round of supplemental oxygen yesterday?
CONLEY: I would have to check with the nursing staff. If he did, it was very limited. But he’s not on oxygen and the only oxygen that I ordered, that we provided was that Friday morning initially.
REPORTER: What time was that yesterday?
CONLEY: Yesterday — what was yesterday?
REPORTER: The second incident.
CONLEY: The second incident. It was over the course of the day, yeah, yesterday morning.
REPORTER: The president’s current blood oxygen levels, that’s my first question to you, Dr. Conley.
REPORTER: What did the x-rays and ct scans show? Are there signs of pneumonia? Are there signs of lung involvement? Or any damage to the lung?
CONLEY: We’re tracking all of that. There’s some expected findings but nothing of any major clinical concern.
REPORTERS: Why start him, Dr. Conley on the…Did is oxygen level ever dip below 90?
CONLEY: We don’t have any recordings of that.
REPORTER: What about at the White House or here, anything below 90, just to follow up on her question?
CONLEY: It was below 94%. It wasn’t the low 80s or anything.
REPORTER: Yesterday you told us the president was in great shape, has been in good shape, minutes after your press conference Mark Meadows told reporters that the president’s vitals were very concerning over the last 24 hours. Simple question for the American people, whose statements about the president’s health should be believed?
CONLEY: The chief and I work side-by-side. I think his statement was misconstrued. What he meant was that 24 hours ago, when he and I were checking on the president, that there was that momentary episode of a high fever and that temporary drop in the saturation, which prompted us to act expediently to move him up here. Fortunately, that was really very transient, limited episode. A couple hours later he was back up, mild again. I’m not going to speculate what that limited episode was about, so early in the course but he’s doing well.
REPORTER: What are the expected findings on the lungs and why is the president not wearing a mask in the videos and photos that have been released.
CONLEY: The president is wearing a mask any time he’s around us and we’re wearing our n-95s, full ppe. He’s the patient and when we can, when he’ll move out into public, we move him out and about other people when he’s not in full ppe, I’ll assure you, as long as he’s under my care, he’ll be wearing a mask.
REPORTER: The room is negative pressure?
CONLEY: I’m not going to get into specifics of his care.
REPORTER: Can you answer the question on the lung function? The lung function question, Dr. Conley.
CONLEY: I’m sorry.
REPORTER: The lung function question, can you talk about that.
CONLEY: I would share, like every patient, we perform lung spirometry on him. He’s maxing it out. We told him, see what you can do, it’s over 2500 milliliters each time. He’s doing great.
REPORTERS: Why were you so reluctant until today to disclose that the president had been administered oxygen?
CONLEY: I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, his course of isness has had. — Illness has had. 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 wasn’t necessarily true and there you have it. He is — the fact of the matter is that he’s doing really well. He is responding and as the team said, if everything continues to go well, we’re going to start discharge planning back to the white house. That’s it. Thank you, folks.