CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, again raised numerous questions about President Donald Trump’s health, saying the president “obviously shouldn’t be” back at work in the Oval Office on Wednesday while still contagious with COVID-19.
Trump broke isolation within the White House and returned to the Oval Office just two days after leaving the hospital, where he had been treated after testing positive for the coronavirus last Thursday.
His physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said in a Wednesday memo that Trump had been fever-free for more than four days, symptom-free for 24 hours, and had not received supplemental oxygen since his initial hospitalization. However, the White House has refused to disclose when Trump last received a negative test result, leaving unanswered questions about his infection timeline following days of muddled information provided to the public about his condition.
Gupta told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Trump is almost certainly still shedding the virus and should be in isolation.
“Is he wearing a mask? Is there additional ventilation inside there? Are there people within close proximity? Are they wearing personal protective equipment and do they know how to wear it properly?” the doctor asked.
In response to Conley’s memo, Gupta said it’s “almost as much what we’re not hearing versus what we are hearing.”
“Does he have pneumonia? We’ve asked this question every single day now. He’s had lung scans, we know that. They said those lung scans had findings. Has he continued to get chest X-rays? Is that improving, whatever the findings were?”
Gupta also questioned what medications Trump is taking:
“We knew that he got a dose of the antibodies. He was on remdesivir. Is he still getting the steroids? The dexamethasone? That’s typically a 10-day course. Six milligrams, that’s what the trial dose was. Is that what he’s getting? If so, that could be the reason he doesn’t have a fever. That could be the reason why he’s feeling as good as he is. That knocks down the inflammation, which is a good thing. The problem is, it doesn’t treat the underlying infection, Jake, so once the steroids stop, might the viral replication begin in earnest again? That’s the concern. That’s why he should be in a hospital and being monitored for that.”
It’s “really, really disturbing” that the White House still has not disclosed the date of Trump’s last negative test, Gupta said. It’s possible he contracted the virus at a Sept. 26 Rose Garden gathering and then attended multiple events in the following days. If so, scores of people Trump interacted with would need to be notified.
“I think if it were anybody else in the country that information would be disclosed,” Gupta said. “That is the basic bread and butter of contact tracing.”
“It’s important for him,” the doctor said. “But it also makes a difference for all those other people he came into contact with. Five states we calculated. Multiple trips. And dozens, if not hundreds, of people that he came into contact with.”
More than two dozen people in Trump’s orbit have also tested positive for the coronavirus, including his press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, adviser Stephen Miller and campaign manager Bill Stepien.
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