President Donald Trump’s White House physician, Dr. Sean Conley, was purposefully vague and gave lots of runarounds to the simple question of whether the president had received supplemental oxygen since he’d been diagnosed with the coronavirus. It turns out he was given oxygen, but in the White House, according to several reports.
The New York Times reports that “two people close to the White House” said in separate interviews that Trump’s doctors gave him supplemental oxygen on Friday while he had trouble breathing and was still at the White House. It was after that scare that they decided to transfer him to Walter Reed so he could be monitored more closely. The Associated Press also reports that “a person familiar with Trump’s condition” said the president received supplemental oxygen on Friday at the White House.
There was a marked difference between the largely positive news conference of Trump’s doctors and the off-the-record reports that were given by others close to the White House. “The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care,” one person appears to have told news outlets. (Update: The unnamed person was later revealed to be Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff). In his conference, Conley said that “all indicators are that [Trump will] remain off of oxygen going forward.”
Trump sent a tweet from the hospital Saturday, praising the staff at Walter Reed and saying he’s “feeling well” thanks to their help. The tweet was sent a little after 1 p.m. EST. A short while later, Trump sent another tweet calling on Congress to make progress on an economic relief bill. “OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS,” Trump tweeted. “WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE. Thank you!”
*This post has been updated with new information since it was first published.