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A Twitter spree and leaving the hospital: Everything we know about Donald Trump's condition.

On Friday afternoon (AEST), Donald Trump confirmed in a tweet that he and wife Melania had tested positive for coronavirus. 

The virus that has killed more than 200,000 people in America alone had finally reached the president, with many unsurprised by the news given Trump's lack of concern for social distancing, mask wearing or large crowds. 

But now that he has contracted the highly contagious disease, there's no denying that the president sits in a very dangerous demographic: He's 74 and clinically overweight. 

PSA: Let's take a moment to say a big thankyou to masks.


Video via Mamamia.

America's own statistics from January through May shows that about 64.7 per cent of COVID-19 patients with underlying health conditions in his age group have required hospitalisation, and 31.7 per cent have died.

Over the weekend we've been fed information from Trump's doctors, White House staff, hidden 'sources' and Trump himself about how he is coping with the disease, but there's been more than one contradictory report.

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Here's how the last few days have unfolded:

Friday.

After announcing his positive diagnosis at 12.54am local time on Friday morning, Trump didn't tweet for an entire day. 

That wouldn't be unusual for many, but this is a president who is either tweeting or retweeting on average 12 times a day. This was the first sign we had that the president's condition was worse than he was letting on.

His doctor updated the press with word that the president and First Lady were "doing well" with Melania Trump tweeting: "We are feeling good."

It was confirmed they would remain at home within the White House during their period of self isolation. 

Typically, it can take four to five days for symptoms to show after someone is infected with coronavirus, and we have since found out that 206 people who came into contact with Trump last week are being told they need to self isolate and be tested.

On Friday afternoon at around 4pm, the White House announced that the president was feeling "fatigued," and two hours later Trump had left the White House for the hospital via a helicopter. 

He posted a video on Twitter dressed up in a suit remarking about his hospital visit: "I am doing very well but we're going to make sure that things work out."

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"Going well, I think! Thankyou to all," he wrote on Twitter just a few hours later.

Just before midnight, the president's physician released a letter saying Trump had started his first dose of experimental drug remdesivir.

Despite outwardly claiming that the president "was still doing well" suspicions of a cover-up were starting to surface.

Saturday.

On Saturday, Trump's physician Dr. Sean Conley briefed the press and said he was "extremely happy" with the progress being made, noting that the president's fatigue and mild cough were improving and that he'd been "fever free" for 24 hours. 

He also gave a timeline claiming Trump was "72 hours into his diagnosis." If that were true, the president may have known he had contracted the virus, or had symptoms, as early as Wednesday. He met in person with officials in Minnesota on Wednesday and appeared at a fundraiser in New Jersey on Thursday.

As this news starting making headlines, a statement was released redacting Dr. Conley's initial comments with the claim he had "misspoken" and that Trump was only 24 hours into his diagnosis at the time of the press conference. 

The comments painting Trump's condition in a positive light were also undermined, with a leak from a "White House source" telling pool reporters "the president's vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We're still not on a clear path to a full recovery."

The source was widely reported to be White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who repeated this news in an interview on Fox on Saturday evening. 

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Meadows told the broadcaster that on Friday morning, "a number of us, the doctor and I, were very concerned," despite publically telling reporters the day before that his condition was "mild."

But Trump again contradicted these reports, tweeting out "With their help [doctors and nurses], I am feeling well."

Trump has previously admitted to playing down the virus because he "didn't want to create panic," and has continued to repeat that the virus will simply "go away." 

Between his comments to the American public, and taunts - like in the debate last week - about Biden's consistent mask wearing, it's no surprise the president wants to downplay the severity of his own condition to maintain the facade that the virus isn't as bad as we know it to be.

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Sunday. 

We were given confirmation of the seriousness of Trump's earlier condition, with Dr. Conley telling a press briefing that the president experienced two drops in his oxygen levels, once on Friday and again on Saturday. 

He admitted that the president's condition had been worse than previously disclosed but was "now improving," and that Trump could be back at the White House as soon as Monday.

But in the same update it was confirmed that Trump on Saturday was injected with the steroid dexamethasone.

Dexamethasone is known to improve survival for patients hospitalised with severe or critical COVID-19 who need extra oxygen. But it should not be given in mild cases since it can limit the body's own ability to combat the virus, according to guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, and other doctors, arrive to brief reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Image:  Jacquelyn Martin/AAP.

Dr. Conley was asked about the condition of Trump's lungs to which he replied: "There's some expected findings but nothing of any major clinical concern." 

Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University, says this indicates that Trump's X-rays likely showed evidence of pneumonia.

"If it was normal, they would just say it is normal," Adalja said.

Conley also addressed the conflicting reports between himself and Meadows the day prior, and said he was reluctant to disclose that Trump had received oxygen because he was trying to "reflect the upbeat attitude" of the medical team and the president.

"I didn't want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction," he said. "And in doing so, you know, it came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn't necessarily true. The fact of the matter is, is that [Trump's] doing really well."

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Trump further continued to portray this 'upbeat' attitude, by taking a brief drive out the front of the hospital in a black SUV to 'wave to his supporters,' before returning to Walter Reed.

He also simultaneously uploaded another video in which he said: "I learned a lot about COVID. I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. This isn't the let's read the books school. And I get it, and I understand it. And it's a very interesting thing."

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Monday.

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

He used his barrage of commentary to urge his supporters to vote in next month's election with remarks like: "STOCK MARKET HIGHS. VOTE" and "SPACE FORCE. VOTE!"

He touched on everything from taxes to 'law and order' and fighting the 'corrupt news media.'

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Several doctors commented that the apparent manic outbursts were likely a side effect of the powerful steroid dexamethasone.

Later that day (Tuesday morning AEST), President Trump shared on Twitter that he was "feeling really good" after being treated at the Walter Reed Medical Center for COVID-19.

"I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6.30pm," he claimed.

"Feeling really good. Don't be afraid of COVID. Don't let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs and knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!"

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The President's physician, Dr Sean Conley, confirmed that although Trump may not be "entirely out of the woods yet" he will go home to the White House in a few hours where he will continue to get "world-class 24-7" medical care.

"He has never once pushed us to do something not safe," he said, describing Trump as a "phenomenal patient".

He also claimed there was no sign of "live virus still present" that Trump could transmit to others.

The president also responded to criticism after greeting Republican voters, writing: "It is reported that the Media is upset because I got into a secure vehicle to say thank you to the many fans and supporters who were standing outside of the hospital for many hours, and even days, to pay their respect to their President."

"If I didn’t do it, Media would say RUDE!!!" he added.

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The White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has also on Monday joined a long list of positive COVID-19 diagnosis linked to Donald Trump's circle including Republican Senators Thom Tillis, Mike Lee, and Ron Johnson, former White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Trump's 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien and Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

What is everyone saying?

Former White House Medical Unit physician Dr. Jennifer Pena told journalist Jessica Yellin in an Instagram live, that as a White House physician you are also in the military - which means that Dr. Conley's direct commander is President Trump.

"He is a physician, but he is also a sailor - he's a navy man - and he has to follow instruction. It's a delicate balance between your morals and ethics as a physician and this intersection where pills and politics meets.

"I have to suspect, that he was told what he could and couldn't say. His briefs aren't written by him - they are vetted," Dr. Pena explained. 

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Trump's short car ride in a staged motorcade drive-by outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is what's currently dividing critics and supporters. 

The move has drawn sharp criticism from medical experts who say Trump has endangered the Secret Service agents in the car with him.

But the commentary from Trump's supporters is just as loud.

Trump has done a brief drive-by his fans, before returning to hospital. Image: AAP/Yuri Gripas.

They believe the drive-by is proof that the president is "fine" and shows that the mainstream media is "lying" about Trump's condition being severe.

Then there's the conspiracy theory that the president isn't actually sick and is 'faking' his diagnosis with coronavirus in a ploy to distract from the recent damning New York Times report into Trump's taxes. 

As Dr. Pena explained in the above Instagram live, "there is no reason to believe this coalition of multi disciplinary medical providers was brought together in some sort of a ruse. As military service members, and as healthcare professionals, I do believe that this is real and they are just trying to do the best they can."

So where does this leave us? 

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These latest updates are still extremely contradictory.

His doctors confirmed hours before the drive-by that Trump been administered oxygen twice in recent days, and that he was being treated with a powerful steroid. Yet here he is doing a drive-by past his fans and being discharged from hospital.

His doctor has now confirmed that he has previously lied about the president's condition, so we at least have confirmation that in this unfolding situation we cannot take the White House official' word as 100 per cent accurate moving forward.

Talking to the Los Angeles Times, Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, repeated his assessment today that "some patients have breathing trouble even after their initial recovery."

Even with the drive-by showing the president seemingly doing quite well with the illness Jha said: "I don’t think he’s out of the woods yet. He could get worse, and I think he needs very close monitoring."

 With AAP

Feature Image: Yuri Gripas/ABACAPRESS.COM/AAP.

Read more on this topic:

- What You Need To Know: The 'Super-Spreader' event behind the White House COVID-19 cluster.

- "Coughing all around the house." Donald Trump's former adviser Kellyanne Conway has COVID-19.

- What Donald Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis means for the upcoming election.

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