Sources close to President Donald Trump told AP reporters that he was given supplemental oxygen on Friday, shortly after his doctors dodged the question in a press conference. Trump's medical team refused to divulge whether Trump had been given supplemental oxygen even when asked several times on Saturday morning. Less than two hours later, a person familiar with Trump's medical condition told The Associated Press that he had gotten the treatment at the White House.
The source spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, saying that supplemental oxygen was administered to Trump shortly before he was hospitalized on Friday evening. Supplemental oxygen, or "oxygen therapy," is different from a respirator, as it is administered to patients who can still breathe on their own, but are not getting enough oxygen in their blood. This treatment is typically done with tanks of liquid or gaseous oxygen hooked to a face mask or a cannula — a nose tube.
BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — AP source: President Trump was administered supplemental oxygen at the White House on Friday before going to hospital.— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) October 3, 2020
A handful of doctors treating Trump med reporters on the front steps of Walter Reed Military Medical Center on Saturday morning, led by White House physician Dr. Sean Conley. Conley would only say that Trump has not been on oxygen since arriving at the hospital. Asked again, he pointedly refused to answer whether Trump has been on oxygen at all since he contracted COVID-19.
Trump tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday night and announced his illness in the early hours of Friday morning. First Lady Melania Trump announced that she had tested positive as well. On Friday evening, Trump was hospitalized without warning, and his staff — including Conley — have said that this was done in "an abundance of caution." Conley did not speculate on how much longer Trump might remain hospitalized.
While they avoided certain questions and specifics, the doctors gave a generally optimistic outlook on Trump's health on Saturday. They claimed that he is still working from within his hospital room and that he has not had a fever since Friday morning. They refused to reveal how high his temperature had gotten.
The doctors also evaded a question about whether Trump had taken hydroxychloroquine since his coronavirus diagnosis. Trump insisted that the malaria drug was effective against COVID-19 despite mounting evidence to the contrary. He has since even claimed that he was taking it as a "precaution" against the virus. Conley told reporters that Trump had asked about hydroxychloroquine, and that the staff had discussed it with him, but said that he was not taking it "at this time."