CNN is one of a number of US news outlets that is suggesting there are conflicting reports on the actual state of Donald Trump’s health. A platoon of doctors came out to talk to reporters at noon Saturday from Walter Reed medical center and gave a thumbs-up report on President Donald Trump’s condition after his positive Covid-19 diagnosis.
“This morning the President is doing very well,” said Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley, adding: “The President is fever-free for over 24 hours.” He dodged repeated questions about whether Trump had requited oxygen at any time.
Roughly half an hour after that rosy assessment, came this from a “source familiar with the President’s health” speaking to the print and TV pool reporters, “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. We are still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”
Which leads to the question of whether he was taken to the hospital out of an abundance of caution? Or are there real concerns that Trump’s condition is far more serious, as the use of an experimental Regeneron polyclonal antibody cocktail — not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration — and the eerie background quote suggest?
Contributing to the uncertainty is the fact that Trump has long obfuscated when it comes to his medical health prior to coming into the White House in 2017. In fact, we know less about his health than we do any modern president.
Trump did not release medical records when he ran for president in 2016. What he did release was a letter from Dr. Harold Bornstein, his longtime personal physician, that asserted simply: “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency. His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.”
At the time the letter was released, it was subject to widespread mockery — mostly because it read like Trump himself had written it. Which it turns out he did, at least according to Bornstein.
“He dictated that whole letter. I didn’t write that letter,” Bornstein told CNN in 2018. “I just made it up as I went along.” Added Bornstein, “(Trump) dictated the letter and I would tell him what he couldn’t put in there. They came to pick up their letter at 4 o’clock or something.”
Bornstein also told NBC that Trump’s medical records had been taken from him by former Trump bodyguard Keith Schiller and another man just days after the doctor told The New York Times that the President took medicine to grow his hair.
Then there was the unscheduled visit to Walter Reed days before last Thanksgiving, a trip dismissed by the White House as nothing more than the President getting a jumpstart on his annual physical — although details that came to light later raise major questions about that explanation. It is known that Trump is considered obese and that he is pre-diabetic, both of which coupled with his gender and age (74) make him a high-risk COVID patient.