“Though he may not be entirely out of the woods yet … our evaluation and most importantly our clinical status support his safe return home,” said Dr. Sean Conley, President Donald Trump’s physician on Monday before the president checked out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Conley said he would be getting the round the clock medical treatment at the White House.
While his doctors say the president’s temperature and oxygen levels are back to normal, some experts looked at the list of drugs the commander-in-chief has received and say it contradicts the rosy picture his doctors, White House officials, and the president himself have painted since his diagnosis.
Dr. Euthym Kontaxis the director of emergency medicine at Eisenhower Health says he doesn’t know the details of the president’s health but from his experience treating hundreds of COVID patients most of the drugs on the list are standard treatment for someone has gone from mild to more concerning symptoms.
“If all of a sudden they started having more respiratory symptoms and their oxygen dropped that would be an indication to potentially put them in the hospital and give them supportive care,” says Kontaxis adding this is when inflammation becomes the major concern and more organs get involved, “that would be the time where you say, ‘Okay, let’s give some preventative care against blood clots,’ so you might start a blood thinner, maybe if he’s having respiratory symptoms giving Dexamethasone to help with the inflammation … for COVID 19 it’s low dose steroids and it usually doesn’t have any effect on the short term.”
The president’s doctors say they have him on a five day course of the antiviral Remdesivir. The drug is not on the market, it was the first drug approved this year by the FDA for emergency use in COVID patients.
“That usually is started when a patient’s hospitalized and we’re concerned that they’re taking a little bit of a turn for the worse then we would start Remdesivir which sometimes can shorten the course and lighten the symptoms that the patient is experiencing,” says Kontaxis.
He says the only treatment on the list that is out of the ordinary because it’s still in the experimental stage is Regeneron, the antibody cocktail is based on convalescent plasma, “And so what Regeneron did was take the two most effective antibodies in patients that have recovered in COVID 19 and clone those antibodies in mice and produce large amounts of these antibodies.”
The company said the drug was provided to the president after his doctors requested it under “compassionate use” in which the FDA allows for experimental drugs to be used in life threatening situations.
The founding scientist of Regenron says early clinical trials show promise, “For the highest risk patients we showed that within a week we could drop viral levels a hundredfold compared to standard care … that’s what you’re trying to do … wipe out and get rid of the virus,” says Dr. George Yancopoulos.
Dr. Kontaxis thinks the care provided is safe, appropriate and he would administer this to a sick family member, or any patient under his care.
But he says in this case the patient is the president and ultimately that may be what is determining care, “He’s getting the maximum therapy because they’re concerned about his age and the risk factors and that he’s president of the United States, let’s give it the full kitchen sink as they say.”