Last October, news broke that Donald Trump, his wife Melania and their son, Barron, had all tested positive for coronavirus. At the time, Trump attempted to downplay the situation and according to multiple reports insisted on walking unaided to a helicopter scheduled to take him to the Walter Reed Medical Center as a "precautionary measure".
Later, Trump shared a video on Twitter (which he has subsequently been banned from) about his experience, praising an experimental treatment that he was given: "For me, I walked in, I didn’t feel good, a short 24 hours later I was feeling great, I wanted to get out of the hospital."
He continued on to say he believes God gave him the virus, "I want everybody to be given the same treatment as your President because I feel great, I feel like perfect. So I think this was a blessing from God that I caught it. A blessing in disguise... I spent four days there and when I went in I wasn't feeling so hot... They gave me Regeneron and it was unbelievable, I felt good immediately."
However, a new report from the New York Times suggests that Trump was far sicker than he let on/the public were initially led to believe.
The NYT writes that in actuality Trump had "extremely depressed blood oxygen levels at one point and a lung problem associated with pneumonia caused by the coronavirus, according to four people familiar with his condition" and that his condition was so worrying he was almost hooked up to a ventilator.
The report adds that Trump's "blood oxygen level alone was cause for extreme concern" as it dipped into the 80s (with a level in the low 90s being classed as severe).
A member of Trump's medical team, Dr Sean P. Conley, also downplayed the former President's condition at the time, saying during one briefing that tests only revealed "expected findings, but nothing of any major clinical concern" – as opposed to the evidence of damaged tissue or pneumonia that appeared.
Conley also told press that Trump's oxygen levels never dropped to the "low 80s". However, a couple of days later, he clarified his positive spin on the situation by saying, "I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, his course of illness has had... I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction, and in doing so, you know, it came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true."
Trump's second impeachment trial is currently ongoing.
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