On Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he would be leaving Walter Reed Medical Center Monday evening.
He wrote, “Feeling really good!… I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”
Trump’s statement comes just hours after his physician, Sean P. Conley, said that the president has continued to improve. “Over the past 24 hours… he’s met or exceeded all standard hospital discharge criteria.”
The news, however, has left many doctors stunned.
On Sunday, The Washington Post wrote that a number of outside infectious-disease experts have said that the president is in a “dangerous period of vulnerability” and are shocked by what they have described as an “inconsistent portrayal of the president’s illness as relatively mild despite the aggressive mix of treatments he is getting.”
Speaking to the outlet, Rochelle Walensky, chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, said, “My impression is they are telling us everything that is of good news and limiting everything that is not perfect.”
Robert Wachter, chairman of the University of California at San Francisco’s department of medicine, added that if a patient with Trump’s symptoms tried to leave the hospital three days after being admitted, they would need to sign out against doctors orders as it would be “so ill-advised.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Trump Said He Tested Positive for COVID-19 on Thursday
Last Thursday, Trump announced that he tested positive for coronavirus. On Friday, he checked in to Walter Reed Medical Center.
White House physician Dr. Sean Conley revealed that Trump was soon after given a steroid dexamethasone. He added that the president had a “high fever” on Friday and a blood oxygen level below 94%, according to WFAA.
Over the weekend, reports coming from Trump’s time in the hospital were contradictory, with Conley saying that Trump was doing “very well”, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows saying Trump’s vitals were “very concerning”, according to CNET.
Many doctors outside the White House are adamant that a Monday discharge is all too soon.
“Absolutely not,” William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University’s medical school, said. “I will bet dollars to doughnuts it’s the president and his political aides who are talking about discharge, not his doctors,” Schaffner added.
Wachter, similarly, said, “For someone sick enough to have required remdesivir and dexamethasone, I can’t think of a situation in which a patient would be okay to leave on day three, even with the White House’s medical capacity.”
As the Washington Post highlighted, the consensus in the medical community is that COVID-19 patients are vulnerable for a week to ten days after their first symptoms.
A Growing Number of People in the White House Have Tested Positive for Coronavirus
Since Trump’s diagnosis, a number of White House staff have tested positive for coronavirus, including White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Two of McEnany’s deputies, Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt, have also tested positive.
Republican senators Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina also announced after Trump’s diagnosis that they had tested positive, according to Vox, as did former senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien.
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