White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said Thursday that President Donald Trump would be able to make a "safe return" to public events by Saturday, less than two weeks after he tested positive for COVID-19. In a memo Conley issued Thursday evening, he stated Trump had completed his treatment for the coronavirus and had responded "extremely well" just three days after the president returned to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was treated for 72 hours.
"Since returning home, his physical exam has remained stable and devoid of any indications to suggest progression of illness. Overall he's responded extremely well to treatment, without evidence on examination of adverse therapeutic effects," Conley wrote, as per The New York Times. "Saturday will be day 10 since Thursday's diagnosis, and based on the trajectory of advanced diagnostics the team has been conducting, I fully anticipate the President's safe return to public engagements at that time."
Health experts have openly questioned Conley's memo, noting that severe COVID-19 symptoms can be infectious longer than 10 days. Trump was diagnosed with the coronavirus last week, and his doctors said he experienced a high fever and two drops in his oxygen level during his treatment. Trump was given the antiviral medication remdesivir, the steroid dexamethasone and an experimental antibody treatment developed by Regeneron, according to his medical team, as well as supplemental oxygen. While Trump has praised his treatments as a possible cure for the coronavirus, the experimental treatment is not available to the public as of now.
Trump has repeatedly downplayed the coronavirus pandemic since March, removing his mask after returning to the White House from the hospital and musing that he could be "immune" from the virus just days after contracting it. In a public address earlier this week, the president said he "didn't feel so good" after he contracted the virus, but claimed he was well enough to leave the hospital. "Don't let it dominate. Don't let it take over your lives," he urged his followers. Later, he said, "As your leader, I had to do that. I knew there's danger to it. But I had to do it. I stood out front. I led. Nobody that's a leader would not do what I did ... Now I'm better. Maybe I'm immune. I don't know. But don't let it dominate your lives. Get out there. Be careful. We have the best medicines in the world."