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Is Donald Trump "incapacitated"? The conflicting messages about the president's condition.

There are conflicting stories about the condition of President Donald Trump, with one Stanford University law professor saying the drug he has been administered may have left him “incapacitated”.

Since confirming his infection on Friday, Trump's health has been the subject of a slew of speculation by the press and public alike - thanks in part to the president and his physician's conflicting messages about his condition.

On Monday, local time, Trump was discharged from hospital despite his physician, Dr. Sean P. Conley, telling reporters he was not "out of the woods yet".

It comes after the president's medical team confirmed on Saturday that he had been prescribed the powerful drug, dexamethasone, which is an anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling drug used for a diversity of diseases. For those infected with COVID-19, it is only used in severe cases.  

Donald Trump on Sunday visited his supporters outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Image: AAP.

Stanford University’s Michele Dauber drew on her own experience with the drug to further add conjecture.

"I was treated with Dexamethasone following brain surgery. It is (as my team told me) a drug that seriously messes with your mind. It is a bad drug.  I could not wait to get off it. Unfortunately you have to wean off which takes time. Trump is incapacitated," the professor said on Twitter. 

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Professor Dauber continued: "I couldn't be President of my cat when I was on Dexamethasone. He should not be exercising the powers of the Office of President on that drug. We are lucky if he doesn't start a war. He's incapacitated."

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It comes as Trump went on a Twitter spree on Monday morning, sharing 18 tweets in the space of just one hour. 

He bombarded Twitter with messages to vote in the upcoming November 3 election, with remarks including: "PRO LIFE! VOTE!" and "PROTECT PREEXISTING CONDITIONS. VOTE!"

He also told supporters that he feels "better than I did 20 years ago!"

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Several doctors said this bizarre behaviour may be a side effect of the powerful steroid dexamethasone. 

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Although many doctors are suggesting the medication is making him temporarily unfit for power, others say this isn't true. 

Jessica Huseman, for example, who is a reporter for ProPublica and CNN, tweeted, "This is incorrect. Dexamethasone is a standard drug that you have probably taken and then gone right to work. Let’s not conflate the impact of a basic drug after brain surgery to the same drug used on a virus. This type of exaggerating is not helpful."

Alas, according to the World Health Organisation, dexamethasone is only for those with “severe and critical COVID-19”. The drug was first tested on coronavirus patients for hospitalised cases in the United Kingdom, and was found to have benefits for critically ill patients.  

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The treatment reduced mortality by around one third for patients on ventilators and by about one fifth for patients requiring only oxygen. (Trump's doctors confirmed on Sunday that he was given supplemental oxygen to help with his breathing.)

Donald Trump removes his mask upon returning to the White House from hospital, despite still being infectious with the coronavirus. Image: Getty. 

Although the president has now returned to the White House - where there is a growing outbreak of the disease - it's clear that his recovery process is far from over.  With the White House having its own advanced medical facility, the president will remain under 24-hour medical care. 

Still within one week of his positive diagnosis, it is also possible his condition may worsen.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Clinicians should be aware of the potential for some patients to rapidly deteriorate one week after illness onset."

Image: AAP. 


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