Former President Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection back in October was far worse than the president and his aides said, according to The New York Times, which reported officials were worried Trump’s condition was so bad before he left the White House that he might have needed a ventilator while hospitalized.
CNN also reported Thursday there were concerns about Trump possibly needing to go on a ventilator, while the Times—citing four people with knowledge of his condition—said Trump’s blood oxygen level was dangerously low and he had a lung complication related to pneumonia called lung infiltrates.
According to the National Institutes of Health, that issue is related to a “hyper-inflammation phase” that usually occurs during the late stages of a Covid-19 infection.
Questions have long swirled about how serious Trump’s condition may have been, even as the former president and his aides, including former White House Physician Dr. Sean Conley, continually downplayed the impact.
Trump has said that when he was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center he “wasn’t feeling so well,” and officials at the time said Trump had a fever and breathing problems.
But little had been publicly known beyond that, and Conley only revealed Trump was given supplemental oxygen at the White House after news reports surfaced.
Representatives at what Trump has dubbed “the Office of the Former President” declined a request for comment.
There had been clues Trump’s condition was worse than what had been publicized. He claimed at an NBC town hall on Oct. 15 that doctors told him his “lungs are a little bit different” during his hospitalization, without providing further details on what that meant. In a notable incident while he was hospitalized, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows suggested Trump’s condition was “very concerning,” which reportedly infuriated the former president.
Trump announced in an early morning tweet on Oct. 2 that he and former First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for Covid, which came as part of a large White House outbreak. His condition apparently deteriorated quickly, leading to him reluctantly agree to be hospitalized later in the day. Trump spent the weekend in the hospital, where he received a treatment consisting of Remdesivir, the steroid dexamethasone and a then-unapproved experimental antibody cocktail from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. The aggressive treatment regimen was an early indicator Trump’s infection had become severe. Trump was released from the hospital the evening of Oct. 5, filming a video as he returned to the White House where he ripped off his mask and saluted his departing helicopter.
After he returned from his hospitalization, Trump tweeted a video where he said “don’t be afraid of Covid,” and “don’t let it dominate you,” after his normally rampant tweeting notably declined while he was hospitalized. Trump’s apparently severe Covid infection seemed to do little to impact the former president’s precautions, or lack thereof, when it came to preventing Covid spread—he regularly packed thousands of mostly maskless supporters into rallies across the country leading up to Election Day.
Trump Was Sicker Than Acknowledged With Covid-19 (The New York Times)
Doctor Says A Symptom-Free Trump Feels ‘Great,’ But Offers Few Details (Forbes)
In First Video From Hospital, Trump Says He Feels ‘Much Better,’ But Next Few Days Will Be ‘The Real Test’ (Forbes)
Trump Experienced Two Episodes Of ‘Drops In Oxygen’ Since Coronavirus Diagnosis (Forbes)
Trump: Doctors Told Him His ‘Lungs Are A Little Bit Different’ Due To Covid (Forbes)
How Sick Is Trump? White House Offers Conflicting Messages. (Forbes)
White House Outbreak: Donald Trump Jr. Latest To Test Positive (Forbes)
Trump Discharged From Hospital, But Doctors Still Vague On Medical Specifics (Forbes)
Trump Back At White House, Says ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ Of Covid-19 Coronavirus, Is That Reasonable? (Forbes)