Trump’s condition during hospitalization was worse than acknowledged: NYT

Then-President Trump was sicker than previously reported when he was rushed to Walter Reed Hospital for treatment for the coronavirus last fall, The New York Times reported Thursday.

At the time of his hospitalization, Trump had severely depressed blood oxygen levels and officials were concerned he would have to be placed on a ventilator, according to the Times, citing two people familiar with his condition. He was determined to have lung infiltrates, or substances such as fluid or bacteria inflaming the lungs.

Trump was previously reported to be struggling to breathe and running a fever Oct. 2, when he was taken to the hospital. The then-president had participated in the first presidential debate two days before his diagnosis was made public, and it remains unclear whether he had transmitted the virus by that point.

Sean Conley, the president’s doctor at the time, repeatedly downplayed concerns about Trump’s condition in public appearances, saying there had only been “expected findings, but nothing of any major clinical concern” during his hospital stay.

Conley told reporters Trump’s blood oxygen levels had fallen to about 93 percent but never reached “the low 80s.” However, people familiar with Trump’s evaluation told the Times his levels had reached the 80s. Conley did not define the specific parameters of “the low 80s” so it is unclear whether his comments directly contradict the Times’s reporting.

White House officials began working to get the Regeneron antibody cocktail, which was not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration, to Trump on Oct. 1, the night of his diagnosis. After Trump was discharged from the hospital he repeatedly touted its benefits, saying his recovery was “proof it works.”

However, health officials reportedly maintained a running private joke based on the fact that the aim of the cocktail is in fact intended to prevent symptoms from advancing to the point of hospitalization.

The Hill has reached out to the office of the former president for comment.

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