Administration

Trump doctor insists team was not ‘trying to hide anything’ about president’s condition

White House physician Sean Conley said Sunday that the team briefing the public on President Trump’s condition wasn’t “necessarily” trying to “hide” anything from the public about whether the president had received oxygen while he is being treated for COVID-19. 

Conley disclosed during a briefing with reporters that Trump received supplemental oxygen after his diagnosis. 

Asked why he had been reluctant on Saturday to disclose whether Trump had received oxygen, Conley said he was “trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, that his course of illness has had.”

“I 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,” Conley added.

Conley said he recommended the president be given supplemental oxygen on Friday and indicated it was possible Trump also received supplemental oxygen on Saturday. 

Conley’s remarks came after the team of doctors and White House officials offered conflicting messages about Trump’s battle with the virus. 

Conley told reporters Saturday at a press conference that Trump was doing “very well.” Asked by reporters at the time whether Trump had ever received supplemental oxygen, Conley said the president was not currently on it and later said Trump had not been on it on Friday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. 

Multiple outlets reported, though, that sources with knowledge of the situation had confirmed Trump had received supplemental oxygen since contracting the virus. 

Conley on Sunday also avoided revealing other details about Trump’s condition, including results of X-rays and CT scan and whether Trump’s lungs had been damaged. 

White House communications director Alyssa Farah said after the medical briefing that “when you’re treating a patient, you want to project confidence, you want to lift their spirits and that was the intent. But of chief of staff Meadows came out to give you guys more information just to try to be as transparent as we can.”

She also defended Conley’s briefing as accurate.

“We came and gave supplemental information after the fact. This is a very distinguished military doctor, we all know and love Dr. [Conley], he’s treated the president for some time. We can trust the information he’s giving but if we later have supplementary information you have my commitment,” she said.

Trump was brought to the Walter Reed on Friday after he tested positive for the coronavirus.

Updated at 2:55 p.m.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Sean Conley

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