President Donald Trump has suffered high fever and his oxygen levels have fallen at least twice as he has battled Covid-19, his doctors said Sunday.
Following two briefings from Trump’s doctors over the weekend, more details about the course of his Covid-19 illness are emerging – but some questions still remain.
Since Trump announced his Covid-19 diagnosis on Twitter early Friday morning, his illness has had frequent “ups and downs,” White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said during a briefing at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday.
On Thursday night and into early Friday morning, Conley said, the President “was doing well with only mild symptoms” and his oxygen level was in the high 90s – but then late Friday morning, “the President had a high fever and his oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94%,” Conley said. A normal blood oxygen saturation level is 95% or higher.
The President initially was “fairly adamant that he didn’t need” oxygen. “He was not short of breath. He was tired, had the fever, and that was about it,” Conley said.
However, the President was given oxygen.
“And after about a minute on only two liters, his saturation levels were back over 95%. He stayed on that for about an hour maybe, and was off and gone,” Conley said.
Later that Friday, Conley added, the President was out of bed, moving around the White House residence and had only mild symptoms.
On Friday afternoon, Conley said in a White House letter that Trump received a monoclonal antibody cocktail – an investigational immune system treatment from the biotechnology company Regeneron – and had taken zinc, vitamin D, the heartburn drug famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin.
Some small studies have indicated famotidine, the active ingredient in Pepcid AC, might help improve recovery from Covid-19 but it wasn’t clear if that’s why Trump took it.
On Friday evening, the President was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for evaluation and monitoring. Before leaving for the hospital, Trump recorded a video message announcing that he was being transported.
The President has remained without fever since Friday morning, Dr. Sean Dooley, one of Trump’s physicians, said during Sunday’s briefing. Doctors have not said whether they have given him fever-reducing medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Trump’s oxygen level transiently dipped again on Saturday.
“Yesterday there was another episode where it dropped down to about 93%,” Conley said on Sunday. “We watched it and it returned back up.”