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White House scrambles to clarify Trump COVID timeline

New York, Oct 4 – The White House scrambled to clarify on Saturday afternoon the timeline of Donald Trump’s COVID diagnosis, which got clouded earlier on Saturday after Trump’s doctor Sean Conley said the US president was diagnosed “72 hours” ago.

In a morning briefing on Saturday, Conley had said that Trump was diagnosed “72 hours ago” which would mean Wednesday morning EST.

Americans were informed of Trump’s illness only after midnight on Thursday, October 1. At 12.54 a.m. on October 2, Trump tweeted that he and the First Lady had tested positive.

Conley shot off a short clarifying note titled “timeline clarification” on Saturday. In it, Conley said he had “incorrectly” used the term “72 hours” when he meant to say, “day three” and used “48 hours” instead of “day two”.

The president, he said, received the Regeneron antibody cocktail on Friday October 2.

Shortly before noon on Saturday, Conley delivered a sunny, upbeat report on Trump’s health, saying he’s “doing very well”, “not on supplemental oxygen right now” and has been “fever free” for the last 24 hours.

Minutes after that briefing, a person familiar with President Trump’s medical condition informed a White House pool reporter that Trump had needed supplemental oxygen at the White House on Friday before he was hospitalised.

A White House chopper transported Trump to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Friday evening.

Trump’s doctors did not confirm if the president had been on oxygen following his COVID-19 diagnosis. They only said that Trump was not on oxygen “at this moment” in the hospital.

Conley reported that the hospital plans to complete a five day treatment course for remdesivir. Trump has already got the first dose.

The “big plan for today” is for Trump to “eat, drink and stay hydrated”.

Conley said Trump was brought into Walter Reed Hospital “as a precautionary measure” so that he could get “state of the art monitoring”.

“At this time the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the President has made since Thursday. He had a mild cough and some nasal congestion and fatigue, all of which are now resolving and improving”, Conley said.

Trump’s cardiac function, kidney function and liver function are all “normal”, Trump’s medical team at Walter Reed said. “And the President this morning is not on oxygen, not having difficulty breathing or walking around the White House medical unit upstairs.”

The team of doctors announced that Trump’s cardiac function, kidney function are normal.

“The president this morning is not on oxygen, not having difficulty breathing or walking around the White House medical unit upstairs.”

Conley said Trump’s blood oxygen level is 96 per cent, which is in the normal range.

Trump has been treated with two experimental drugs, given intravenously. On Friday, Trump received a single dose of a drug made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc, which helps turbocharge the system with antibodies to help the immune system fight back.

Friday night, Trump was started on a five-day course of remdesivir, a Gilead Sciences drug that has been found to help shorten the course of the COVID treatment.

“We’re maximising all aspects of his care,a attacking the virus in multiple ways, Conley said. “I didn’t want to hold anything back if there was any possibility it would add value to his care.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s Twitter thumb is back in the zone. Shortly after Conley’s briefing, Trump tweeted: “Nurses and ALL at the GREAT Walter Reed Medical Center, and others from likewise incredible institutions who have joined them, are AMAZING!!! Tremendous progress has been made over the last 6 months in fighting this PLAGUE. With their help, I am feeling well!”

As on date, three Republican senators – Ron Johnson, Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, have tested positive for the coronavirus.