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Trump’s COVID-19 Diagnosis: What We Know & The Political Dimensions Of Medical Messaging




US President Donald Trump wears a mask as he visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland' on July 11, 2020.
US President Donald Trump wears a mask as he visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland' on July 11, 2020.
ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images

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President Donald Trump was hoping for a Monday discharge from the military hospital where he is being treated for COVID-19, a day after he briefly ventured out while contagious to salute cheering supporters by motorcade — an outing that disregarded precautions meant to contain the virus that has killed more than 209,000 Americans.

White House officials said Trump was anxious to be released after three nights at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where doctors revealed on Sunday that his blood oxygen level had dropped suddenly twice in recent days and that they gave him a steroid typically only recommended for the very sick. Still, the doctors said Trump’s health was improving and he could be discharged as early as Monday to continue the remainder of his treatment at the White House.

Trump “is ready to get back to a normal work schedule” and was optimistic about a Monday release, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Fox News. He said a determination would be made after further determination by his medical team.

Less than one month before Election Day, Trump was eager to project strength despite his illness. The still-infectious president surprised supporters who had gathered outside the hospital, riding by Sunday in a black SUV with the windows rolled up. Secret Service agents inside the vehicle could be seen in masks and other protective gear.

With files from the Associated Press

Guests:

Anita Kumar, White House correspondent and associate editor for POLITICO; she tweets @anitakumar01

Peter Chin-Hong, M.D., infectious disease specialist and professor of medicine at the UCSF Medical Center; he tweets @PCH_SF

Margaret Susan Thompson, associate professor of history and political science at Syracuse University