- Doctors have refused to release information about Trump’s bloodwork after treatment for COVID-19
- Trump will receive further treatment at the White House medical unit
- Trump is 74 and overweight, two factors that place him in a high-risk category for developing complications
[This article has been updated at 9:00 p.m. ET]
President Trump on Monday returned to the White House after spending three nights at Walter Reed National Military Hospital. In front of cameras at the Truman Balcony, Trump took off his mask and put it in his right pocket, gave thumbs up and a long salute to Marine One.
The president’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said Monday that Trump was not “out of the woods yet.”
Trump, who will continue to receive treatment for COVID-19, was airlifted to the hospital Friday after developing symptoms, including high fever and falling blood oxygen levels. He has been treated with an experimental antibody cocktail, the still-being-evaluated antiviral Remdesivir and the powerful anti-inflammatory steroid dexamethasone, which generally is given to the most seriously ill.
The president’s doctors have been relentlessly optimistic about his condition but have refused to answer several questions, including when Trump last tested negative for the virus and whether there is evidence of lung damage.
Trump was to be given a fourth infusion of Remdesivir before heading back to the White House, which has a fully equipped medical unit where he can receive further treatment. A fifth dose of the drug was to be administered Friday. He also was to continue taking dexamethasone.
Dr. Conley acknowledged Trump’s full recovery is not assured. He said doctors were in uncharted territory because Trump had received the therapies so early in the course of the disease.
“If we can get through to Monday with him remaining the same or improving better yet, then we will all take that final deep sigh of relief,” Conley told reporters. However, though he said Trump is fever-free, dexamethasone can mask elevated temperatures.
The timeline for when Trump first tested positive for the infection was unclear. The White House has refused to say when he last tested negative. Asked Monday, Conley responded he didn’t want to go “backward,” adding that contact tracing was underway.
It also was unclear exactly how ill Trump was, with contradictory statements from the medical team, Trump aides and administration officials.
Asked whether there was evidence of pneumonia, Conley said doctors had seen “some expected findings,” but were not overly concerned.
“We’ve done routine standard imaging. I’m just not at liberty to discuss,” Conley said. He also declined to discuss Trump’s bloodwork or the quarantine precautions that will be in place at the White House once the president returns.
Conley said he made less-than-accurate statements about the president’s condition on Saturday because he wanted to keep Trump’s spirits up.
About a dozen people in Trump’s inner circle have tested positive for coronavirus, including his wife, Melania.
Trump is 74 and overweight — two factors that place him in a high-risk category for developing complications.
The full news conference is below.