As President Donald Trump and members of his administration continue to insist that he’s doing better than expected since arriving at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Friday, new reporting suggests otherwise.
According to Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair, Trump was anxious and began babbling at times when his fever rose to 103 degrees and he had to be given oxygen to help him breathe:
“After spending months denying the dangers of COVID-19, Trump is expressing an emotion aides have rarely seen: fear. On Friday, Trump grew visibly anxious as his fever spiked to 103 fahrenheit and he was administered oxygen at the White House, according to three Republicans close to the White House. Two sources told me Trump experienced heart palpitations on Friday night—possible side effects of the experimental antibody treatment he received. Trump has wondered aloud if he could defeat the disease. ‘Am I going out like Stan Chera?’ Trump has asked aides, referring to his friend, New York real-estate developer Stan Chera, who died of COVID in April.”
In an attempt to counter that reporting, Trump released a video Saturday evening from Walter Reed in which he looked tired and pale as he assured the American public he was feeling fine:
“I came here, wasn’t feeling so well. I feel much better now. We’re working hard to get me all the way back.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2020
But given this president’s propensity for lying, it’s anyone’s guess what the truth is. Apparently, the goal is to have Trump leave Walter Reed by no later than Tuesday, if his health permits:
“Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has told Republicans that the next few days will be critical to determine the virus’s outcome. ‘Meadows has said if Trump can get out of the hospital by Tuesday, then he’s gone through the worst of it. But if he’s still there after Tuesday, the worst is yet to come,’ the source told me.”
Even the rosiest diagnosis, however, won’t save what many administration and campaign officials now believe is a doomed effort to resurrect the president’s fading reelection effort:
“Inside Trumpworld, the shock of Trump’s hospitalization is giving way to despair about his prospects in the upcoming election. ‘They all know it’s over,’ a Republican close to the campaign said. ‘This is spiraling out of control,’ a former West Wing official said.”
Ironically, if Trump had taken COVID-19 more seriously and listened to the medical and scientific experts in the federal government, he might have been able to salvage his run for second term. But at the moment, he appears headed for a humiliating defeat and uncertain future when it comes to his long-term physical health.
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