It is very difficult to get a comprehensive, trustworthy read on the severity of President Trump’s infection.
What they’re saying: Sean Conley, Trump’s lead doctor, said all weekend that Trump is doing well and experiencing only relatively minor symptoms. And with its many photo ops, the White House is clearly trying to send the same message.
Yes, but: The details we have about Trump’s treatment regimen could call that optimism into question.
- Trump is now taking the steroid dexamethasone, Conley said Sunday. That drug may help save the lives of seriously ill patients, especially those on ventilators. But it’s less effective for patients who are only on supplemental oxygen, and has shown no benefit in the mildest cases.
- Trump is also receiving two other treatments: remdesivir, which has been shown to reduce hospitalization but not to save seriously ill patients’ lives, and an experimental antibody treatment from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
Between the lines: The fact that Trump’s doctors added dexamethasone to his treatment regimen likely means that they were concerned about his condition deteriorating, possibly because of a drop in his oxygen levels, doctors uninvolved in Trump’s treatment told Bloomberg.
“It feels like a whole lot of Kremlinology and I’d just be happier if they’d tell us the truth,” University of California, San Francisco medical professor Robert Wachter, told STAT.