Moments after President Donald Trump tweeted that he would be going back to the White House on Monday night, the president's doctor confirmed the news to reporters, saying that Trump was well enough to return home, three days after being hospitalized with COVID-19.
"He’s met or exceeded all standard hospital discharge criteria,” Dr. Sean Conley said at the press conference, adding that the president has remained without a fever for 72 hours without taking any fever-reducing medication.
Conley said that Trump will receive a fourth intravenous dose of the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir on Monday afternoon before he departs Walter Reed, and a fifth dose will be administered in the White House's medical unit on Tuesday. The president will continue to take steroids, including dexamethasone.
Asked if he was experiencing any side effects from the steroids, or any symptoms from coronavirus, Conley replied, "No, I think you've seen the videos, and the tweets, and you'll see him shortly. He's back, yeah."
Conley, who repeatedly gave misleading answers about the president's need for supplemental oxygen at a press conference on Saturday, refused to tell reporters when the president most recently tested negative for the coronavirus ("I don't want to go backwards"), refused to give any details about the results of the president's chest and CT scans ("We've done routine standard imaging, I'm not at liberty to discuss") and wouldn't say how Trump would be safely quarantined from the rest of the White House, even as cases inside the executive mansion continue to rise ("I can't get into that").
Asked if he agreed with the president when he tweeted "Don't be afraid of Covid" on Monday afternoon, Dr. Conley declined to set the record straight: "I'm not going into what the president says."
"The president has been a phenomenal patient throughout his stay here. He's been working hand in glove with the team. He's holding court with all of us," Conley said, noting that the president may be cleared to travel before the typical 10-day quarantine period expires, or may be held a few extra days, depending on the president's condition. The president's medical team is in "uncharted territory," Conley added, given the array of treatments the president was given so quickly after the president's diagnosis on Thursday.
Several independent medical experts told the Washington Post that it would be inconceivable that a patient could be so ill as to require hospitalization and a cocktail of experimental treatments, then be well enough for discharge three days later.
“For someone sick enough to have required remdesivir and dexamethasone, I can’t think of a situation in which a patient would be okay to leave on day three, even with the White House’s medical capacity,” Dr. Robert Wachter, chairman of the University of California at San Francisco’s department of medicine, told the paper.
“I will bet dollars to doughnuts it’s the president and his political aides who are talking about discharge, not his doctors,” added Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University’s medical school.