After President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 this week, White House doctor Dr. Sean Conley immediately to transfer him to Walter Reed Medical Center. In a new YouTube video, pulmonologist Dr. Mike Hansen reviews the president’s diagnosis and what we know about the treatment he’s receiving.
It is unclear how serious his symptoms are
Hansen believes that Dr. Conley was “evasive” during the press conference when it came to answering questions about the full extent and severity of Trump̵
While Trump was apparently able to walk to his helicopter without assistance on Saturday with no oxygen, which is a good sign, Hansen says an ultrasound would be a more accurate way of determining the condition of pneumonia. “Another concern is that someone might have blood clots in their lungs,” he says. This would require a CTA scan and so far it is unclear whether this was done and what type of blood test was done exactly.
“We have to present objective results to the public and demonstrate vital functions,” he says. “Otherwise America and the world won’t know what’s wrong with our president.”
Weight is a factor
Conley described Trump as “slightly overweight,” but Hansen believes that a more accurate term would be “slightly obese” – and there is a difference. “His BMI is 30.4,” he says. “This is important because we know that obese patients with COVID-19 have a worse prognosis. It is also important because it is more obvious [Conley] makes things look rosier than they really are, and when that happens you lose credibility. “
Days 7-10 will be very enlightening
As Conley mentioned, medical staff will monitor Trump closely from the seventh to the tenth day of his illness, as pulmonary and systemic inflammation can worsen during this time. “There is currently no doctor in the world who knows how this will affect Trump,” says Hansen. “Trump can get better, it can get worse, it can happen slowly, it can happen quickly. I have had patients who have recovered from COVID-19 for months. I have had patients who have had symptoms of COVID that have gotten and got better discharged, they later came back to the hospital and died. There is just no way to predict this disease, it is unpredictable. “
Trump received experimental therapy
After his diagnosis, Trump was given a new and unproven therapy called REGN-COV2. A cocktail of two different monoclonal antibodies from the biotech company Regeneron. The results of a late-stage study showed that the treatment was safe and appeared to lower virus levels and improve symptoms in COVID patients.
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We don’t know when Trump was last tested negative for COVID
Conley declined to say when the president last received a negative test result, indicating to Hansen “this has important implications for contact tracing.” The average incubation time for the virus is 4 to 7 days. This means that Trump likely infected the virus within that time frame. The times seem to be right, suggesting the president came into contact with the virus at the rose garden event where Trump and many of his staff gathered without a mask.
“A more accurate answer would come from knowing when he had his last negative test and when he tested positive,” says Hansen. “This is something that absolutely needs to be disclosed … Anyone who has been exposed to Trump since first contracting the virus must be quarantined.”
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