Trump is again working in the Oval Office, confirms White House spokesperson

The president is just days into a Covid-19 diagnosis that experts say may potentially turn more severe

Chris Riotta
New York
Thursday 08 October 2020 00:46
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President Donald Trump has returned to the Oval Office just days after contracting the novel coronavirus to be briefed on congressional stimulus negotiations and the threat posed by Hurricane Delta, according to a White House spokesperson.

The president could have continued to be briefed on both issues outside of the Oval Office: he had not stopped working throughout his diagnosis, according to White House officials, even during his extended stay at Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland during the weekend.

But by Wednesday afternoon, it was confirmed he had returned to the Oval Office to conduct the business of the presidency behind the Resolute Desk. 

Though he was back to business as usual, questions still lingered surrounding the president’s health and coronavirus diagnosis.

It remained unclear when exactly Mr Trump tested positive for Covid-19, with reports stating White House officials were aware of his exposure to the virus responsible for more than 200,000 deaths nationwide before he travelled to a fundraiser event last week.

Mr Trump flew on Air Force One to New Jersey for a campaign fundraiser before eventually travelling back to the White House.

At least 14 people within the president’s orbit have tested positive for the coronavirus following his controversial — and largely mask-less — White House event announcing the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court following the passing of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

While White House physician Sean Conley attempted to provide a positive spin on Mr Trump’s health during a Saturday press conference outside of the medical center where he was staying, he refused to answer multiple questions about whether the president ever required supplemental oxygen throughout his diagnosis.

The briefing directly contradicted statements White House chief of staff Mark Meadows gave to media discussing a concerning period in which the president’s oxygen levels fell on Friday before he was flown to Walter Reed.

The president’s doctors later confirmed that he suffered multiple bouts of low oxygen levels and said they were not trying to conceal facts about Mr Trump’s diagnosis.

The White House nor Mr Trump’s doctors have not revealed when exactly the president first tested positive for Covid-19. 

There has also been mixed statements and confusion surrounding Mr Trump’s whereabouts, with his economic adviser Larry Kudlow telling media outlets he “showed up in the Oval Office yesterday with extra precautions with respect to his Covid-19” in interviews on Wednesday.

Those statements contradicted comments from Mr Meadows, who said Mr Kudlow was mistaken and that Mr Trump actually remained in the White House residency until Wednesday afternoon. 

By Wednesday, Dr Conley said in a memo the president had been “fever-free for more than four days” while declining to indicate whether he was taking fever-reducing medications.

Mr Trump’s doctors have noted his symptoms could worsen at the seven to ten day mark in his diagnosis, and said he received multiple drugs that potentially combat the virus, including an “experimental cocktail” of medications and a treatment known as Regeneren.

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