Oct 3, 2020
Dr. Conley (Donald Trump’s Doctor) Press Conference Transcript from Walter Reed on Trump’s Condition October 3
Donald Trump’s Doctor, Dr. Conley, gave updates on Trump’s condition on October 3 since contracting COVID-19. He held a press conference with several other doctors at Walter Reed Medical Center. Read the full news conference transcript here.
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Now at Walter Reed, let’s take a listen.
Dr. Sean Conley: (00:01)
I’d like to thank Colonel Andrew Barr and all the medical and support staff here at Walter Reed for their tireless efforts, providing everything and anything the medical team, the President, and I could need.
Dr. Sean Conley: (00:11)
This morning, the President is doing very well. Behind me are some of the members of the President’s medical team whom I’d like to introduce: Dr. Sean Dooley, Pulmonary Critical Care, Dr. Brian Garibaldi, Pulmonary Critical Care, Dr. Robert Browning, Pulmonary Critical Care, Dr. Jason Blaylock, Infectious Disease, Dr Wes Campbell, Infectious Disease, Dr John Hodgson, Anesthesia, Major Kirt Cline, Army Nurse, Commander Megan Nasworthy, Navy Nurse, Lieutenant Juliana Levopa, Navy Nurse, Lieutenant Commander John Shea, Clinical Pharmacist, and not present with us are, Lieutenant Beth Carter, Lieutenant Maureen Mehan, both Navy Nurses, and Dr. Jesse Shownow, Director of our executive medicine program.
Dr. Sean Conley: (01:07)
As reported yesterday, consultation with this group, I recommended we bring the President up to Walter Reed as a precautionary measure to provide state-of-the-art monitoring and any care that he may need. Just 72 hours into the diagnosis now, the first week of COVID, and in particular day seven to 10 are the most critical in determining the likely course of this illness.
Dr. Sean Conley: (01:32)
At this time, the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the President has made. Thursday he had a mild cough, and some nasal congestion, and fatigue, all of which are now resolving and improving. At this time, I’d like to bring up Dr. Dooley to discuss some of the specifics of the President’s care.
Dr. Dooley: (01:53)
Thank you, and good afternoon. I’m Dr. Sean Dooley, as Dr. Conley mentioned. I’ll start off by mentioning how incredibly proud I am of our medical team assembled behind me, and the honor it has been to care for the President over these last 24 hours here at Walter Reed.
Dr. Dooley: (02:13)
He’s receiving outstanding multidisciplinary care, the state of the science for coronavirus infection. We are monitoring him very closely for any evidence of complications from either the coronavirus illness or the therapies that we are prescribing to make him better.
Dr. Dooley: (02:34)
We have monitored his cardiac function, his kidney function, his liver function, all of those are normal. And the President this morning is not on oxygen, not having difficulty breathing or walking around the White House Medical Unit upstairs. He’s in exceptionally good spirits. And in fact, as we were completing our multidisciplinary rounds this morning, the quote he left with was, “I feel like I could walk out of here today.” And that was a very encouraging comment from the President.
Dr. Dooley: (03:06)
Moving forward, I’ll go ahead and introduce Dr. Garibaldi, who will talk about some of our therapeutics and the plan of care for today. Thank you.
Dr. Garibaldi: (03:17)
Thank you, Dr. Dooley. And I’d like to echo the sentiment from the entire team, what a honor and a privilege that is to be part of this multidisciplinary unit to care for the President.
Dr. Garibaldi: (03:26)
About 48 hours ago, the President received a special antibody therapy directed against the coronavirus, and we’re working very closely with the company to monitor him in terms of that outcome. Yesterday evening, he received his first dose of IV Remdesivir. And our plan is to continue a five day treatment course for Remdesivir. The big plan for today, since he’s in such great spirits and doing well, is to encourage him to eat, to drink, to stay hydrated, to be up out of bed, and to be working and doing the things that he needs to do to get well.
Dr. Garibaldi: (03:58)
I’ll refer Dr. Conley to any question.s
Dr. Sean Conley: (04:02)
Dr. Sean Conley: (04:03)
It’s important to note the President’s been fever free for over 24 hours. We remain cautiously optimistic, but he’s doing great. With that… Oh, one other note, it should be clear that he’s got plenty of work to get done from the Chief of Staff. And he’s doing it.
Dr. Sean Conley: (04:23)
With that, if there’s a couple of questions about the President’s health in the last couple of days.
Speaker 5: (04:27)
Sir, could you tell us the President’s optimal saturation level, please?
Dr. Sean Conley: (04:31)
Yeah. So the last saturation that we had, up walking around, he was about 96%.
Speaker 5: (04:37)
And he has not received any supplemental oxygen?
Dr. Sean Conley: (04:40)
He’s not on oxygen right now. That’s right.
Speaker 5: (04:45)
He has not received any at all?
Dr. Sean Conley: (04:46)
He’s not needed any this morning today at all. That’s right. Now he’s-
Speaker 6: (04:52)
Do you have an estimated date when he might be discharged?
Dr. Sean Conley: (04:56)
Well, I don’t want to put a hard date on that. He’s doing so well, but with a known course of the illness, day seven to 10 we get really concerned about the inflammatory phase, phase two. Given that we provided some of these advanced therapies so early in the course, a little bit earlier than most of the patients we know and follow, it’s hard to tell where he is on that course. And so, every day we’re evaluating, does he need to be here? What does he need? And where’s he going?
Speaker 7: (05:28)
What do you see as the probability that he will need supplemental oxygen going forward?
Dr. Sean Conley: (05:32)
I don’t want to put a percentage on that, but right now all indicators are that he’ll remain off of oxygen going forward.
Speaker 7: (05:40)
And in terms of blood clots, pneumonia, bacterial infection, what do you see is the risk on that front?
Dr. Sean Conley: (05:47)
Well, we know that all of them are risks associated with this condition. He is receiving all of the standard of care, and beyond, per routine international COVID protocols. We’re monitoring for all of that, but at the moment there’s no cause for concern.
Speaker 8: (06:07)
You said he’s fever free now, what was his fever when he had one, sir?
Dr. Sean Conley: (06:12)
I’d rather not give any specific numbers, but he did have a fever Thursday into Friday. And since Friday morning, he’s had none.
Speaker 9: (06:20)
And was the date- [crosstalk 00:06:21].
Speaker 10: (06:21)
… on top of the other antibodies?
Dr. Sean Conley: (06:23)
Speaker 10: (06:24)
Why Remdesivir on top of the antibodies?
Dr. Sean Conley: (06:27)
Remdesivir works a little bit differently than the antibodies. We are maximizing all aspects of his care, attacking this virus in a multi-pronged approach. As the President, I didn’t want to hold anything back. If there was any possibility that it would add value to his care, and expedite has return, I wanted to take it. And the team agreed, and that’s what we proceeded.
Speaker 9: (06:53)
Doctor, what was the date of the President’s last negative test?
Dr. Sean Conley: (06:56)
I’m not going to get into all the testing going back, but he, and all the staff routinely are tested, and so…
Speaker 11: (07:06)
Doctor, what is the PPE protocol for President Trump receiving visitors and doctors?
Dr. Sean Conley: (07:11)
It’s the same as any hospital has. We have an area that’s clean that you put your equipment on. And then beyond that, everybody is fully gowned up, masks, gloves. We’re protecting ourselves and him.
Speaker 12: (07:27)
Have you done a screen, has there’s been any sign of any lung damage whatsoever?
Dr. Sean Conley: (07:30)
We are we’re following all of that. We do daily ultrasounds, we do daily lab work. The team is tracking all of that.
Speaker 12: (07:37)
Has there been any sign of damage, sir? [crosstalk 00:07:38].
Dr. Sean Conley: (07:38)
I’m not going to go into specifics of what the findings of any of that are.
Speaker 12: (07:41)
Can we just pin you down on one thing? Has he ever been on supplemental oxygen?
Dr. Sean Conley: (07:46)
Right now, he is not on oxygen.
Speaker 12: (07:48)
I know you keep saying right now, but should we read into the fact that he had been previously?
Dr. Sean Conley: (07:51)
Yesterday and today, he was not on oxygen.
Speaker 13: (07:53)
So he has not been on it during his COVID treatment? Is that accurate.
Dr. Sean Conley: (07:57)
He’s not on oxygen right now.
Speaker 14: (07:58)
Has hydroxychloroquine been considered as a viable treatment option for the President?
Dr. Sean Conley: (08:02)
We discussed it. He asked about it. He’s not on it now.
Speaker 15: (08:06)
Doctor, what symptoms, has he also experienced difficulty breathing?
Dr. Sean Conley: (08:10)
No. No, he has not, never did. He had a little cough, he had the fever, more than anything he’s felt run down.
Speaker 16: (08:17)
Who is handling contact tracing? Is that the White House or CDC?
Dr. Sean Conley: (08:21)
The White House Medical Unit, in collaboration with CDC and local State and Health Departments are conducting all contact tracing per CDC guidelines.
Speaker 17: (08:32)
When was the positive diagnosis made? You said 72 hours. That would put it that Wednesday.
Dr. Sean Conley: (08:37)
Yeah. So Thursday afternoon, following the news of a close contact is when we repeated testing. And given clinical indications, I had a little bit more concern. And that’s when, late that night, we got the PCR confirmation that he was.
Speaker 18: (08:57)
Is there any clarity on how he became infected?
Dr. Sean Conley: (08:59)
I’m not going to go into that. As far as his care, it’s irrelevant.
Speaker 18: (09:05)
Or when he became infected?
Dr. Sean Conley: (09:07)
Yeah. We’re not going to go into that. We’re just tracking his a clinical course and providing the best care we can.
Speaker 19: (09:13)
Will President Trump have to stay at Walter Reed to get the five days Remdesivir treatment?
Dr. Sean Conley: (09:18)
We’ve discussed that. Right now, if he needs all five days, that will likely be the course. But again, every day we’re reviewing with the team his needs for being here. And as soon as he gets to the point where it’s not a requirement, he may still need some care, but if we can provide that downtown, at the house, then we will transition at that point, as long as it’s safe and appropriate and the team agrees.
Speaker 20: (09:43)
In addition to his weight, does he have any other risk factors that make him more at risk for a severe case?
Dr. Sean Conley: (09:50)
Not particularly. He’s 74, he’s male, and he is slightly overweight. Other than that, he’s very healthy. His cholesterol is great. His blood pressure is great. He’s not on medication for that. He’s up and active. And you saw his activity the days leading up to, the long hours and everything else, he’s able to handle it.
Speaker 21: (10:12)
Can you provide other vitals, like heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature?
Dr. Sean Conley: (10:18)
His heart rate is in the 70s-80s, his blood pressure has remained where it’s historically been during our physicals, 110 to 120 is his top. He’s great. It’s never budged. I’ve had no concerns there.
Speaker 22: (10:33)
So why was the decision made to transfer him here?
Dr. Sean Conley: (10:35)
Because he’s the President of the United States.
Speaker 22: (10:37)
And obviously, doctors had found that the prone position is helpful for COVID, has he been in that at all?
Dr. Sean Conley: (10:42)
No, we actually, he asked about that. He did, Thursday into Friday. He’s been briefed by the task force and all the scientists for months. And he brought that up, as we were discussing his cough. And at that time his oxygen levels were okay, and we didn’t feel like we needed to do it. We came up here, we discussed it with the team as well. We consider all options, but he has not needed any of that.
Speaker 23: (11:04)
Why wasn’t the first lady admitted as well?
Dr. Sean Conley: (11:07)
The First Lady’s doing great. Thanks for asking. She has no indication for hospitalization advanced therapy. She’s convalescing at home. Thank you.
Speaker 12: (11:16)
I’m going to try to pin you down one more time. I know you said there was no oxygen yesterday and today, does that mean he-
Dr. Sean Conley: (11:20)
Yeah, he’s not on oxygen today-
Speaker 12: (11:22)
But did he receive any on Thursday?
Dr. Sean Conley: (11:24)
And he’s.. What’s today? Saturday?
Speaker 12: (11:25)
Dr. Sean Conley: (11:26)
No, no, Thursday-
Speaker 12: (11:28)
Oka, so no Thursday, no Friday, no Saturday. That’s fine. That was why we were confused.
Dr. Sean Conley: (11:30)
So Thursday, no oxygen. None at this moment. And yesterday, with the team a while, while we were all here, he was not on oxygen.
Speaker 12: (11:38)
Speaker 24: (11:39)
Has the President actually been admitted as a patient to this hospital?
Dr. Sean Conley: (11:44)
The President is a patient that Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Speaker 25: (11:49)
Is he on any steroids?
Dr. Sean Conley: (11:51)
Speaker 26: (11:51)
Press, thank you.
Dr. Sean Conley: (11:53)
Thank you, very much. [crosstalk 00:11:53]
Speaker 27: (11:53)
Thank you guys.
Speaker 27: (11:53)
Okay, thank you.