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Donald Trump leaves hospital: is it risky to return to the White House?

After three days of treatment at hospital President Trump is on his way back to the White House where an outbreak is in progress with Kayleigh McEnany the latest testing positive for Covid-19.

U.S. President Donald Trump makes a fist as he walks out the front doors of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after a fourth day of treatment for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as he heads to the Marine One helicopter to return to the White

On Friday morning the U.S. and world learned that President Trump had contracted the Covid-19 virus. Later that same day he walked out of the White House to board Marine One to be transferred to Walter Reed Hospital “out of an abundance of caution” under the recommendation of Dr. Conley, the White House doctor. After three nights in hospital he has left to return to the White House this evening.

A Little after 2:30 p.m. this afternoon Trump tweeted that he would be leaving Walter Reed Hospital stating “I feel really good!” He continued with "Don’t be afraid of Covid." but that will be of little comfort for the over 200,000 who have lost their lives and their loved ones. About an hour later his medical team led by Dr. Sean Conley came out to give a briefing on Trump’s status. Dr. Conley announced that President Trump had continued to improve and that he has “met or exceeded all standard hospital discharge criteria.”

Dr. Brian Garibaldi explained the therapeutics, saying that Trump has received three doses of remdesivir, would receive a fourth before leaving hospital and a fifth and final dose tomorrow evening at the White House. He also explained that Trump will continue with dexamethasone.  Dr. Conley said “we send patients home with medication all the time.”

Both treatments are normally used for patients who are on ventilators, so Dr. Conley was pressed on why he had applied the treatment so early. In response to reporters inquiries Dr. Conley said that it was due to the drops in oxygen that the President had experienced and had “pushed ahead instead of risk the opposite.” Dr. Conley repeated that the President had experienced two episodes of reduced oxygen levels but that they had been treated with supplemental oxygen for a very short amount of time each. 

Are the doctors sending Trump home too early?

Pushed on whether he was letting the President return to the White House too early, Dr. Conley said that at the White House there is a full medical unit where the President can be observed and cared for 24/7. Also saying “we try to get patients home as quickly as is safe and possible”, adding that “everyday a patient is in the hospital unnecessarily is a risk to themselves .” Asked if the President had put pressure on the team to release him early he stated that Trump “has never pushed us.”

Is there a danger of contagion at the White House?

With Trump returning to the White House there is concern for the staff and people that work in the building. Currently there are 14 cases that can possibly be linked back to events taking place at the White House. Dr. Conley stated that he has worked with infectious disease experts on how to keep everything safe at the White House. When asked for more details he would not go into any. Current CDC guidelines state that “replication-competent virus has not been recovered after 10 days following symptom onset” from people who have suffered mild to moderate Covid-19.


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