The President’s doctors have been consistently optimistic in public, repeatedly saying their VIP patient is doing well.
Yesterday, they even suggested he might be able to leave the hospital as soon as today.
But many outside medical experts look at the drugs the President is being prescribed and have reached a very different conclusion. They judge the President either is, or could become, very ill.
Why do they say that? Largely because of the known therapeutics that the President has taken.
Regeneron monoclonal antibody therapy. This highly experimental drug was given as a 8-gram dose on Friday afternoon. It is still in clinical trials, and so giving it to the President is seen as an exceptional and controversial step. Many infectious disease experts have questioned this decision.
Dexamethasone. Trump was given the corticosteroid drug on Saturday after his oxygen level fell to alarming levels.
Remdesivir. President Trump is currently on a five-day course of this antiviral drug. The treatment is intended to shorten recovery time for Covid patients. It too is in clinical trials. It is normally given to only those with moderate or severe cases of the disease.
Supplemental oxygen. We now know that Trump had two episodes in which he suffered transient dips in his oxygen levels. He was given breathing support with supplemental oxygen treatment in the White House.
That amounts to quite an aggressive and experimental cocktail of treatments and drugs. It seems likely that the President’s doctors wouldn’t take the risk unless they felt he needed significant intervention.
There is one other possibility. There is some speculation that the President is insisting on these medications.
He is known to have strong views on what works, and he was an early and assertive advocate for hydroxychloroquine, a medication that has been widely discredited as useful for treating Covid-19. There were even reports that he was taking it preventatively for two weeks in the spring.
What his doctors have not provided details on is any imaging of his lungs. They have been asked whether the President might be suffering pneumonia and they refuse to answer.