Just before noon on Saturday, Dr. Sean Conley lead a team of experts onto the steps outside Walter Reed Medical Center to deliver an extremely optimistic—and strictly edited—statement on Donald Trump’s condition. Trump was fine, just fine. No longer running a fever, not having any breathing problems, and definitely not on oxygen.
Of course, during that statement Conley not only blew up the timeline of Trump’s illness over the last week, he also refused to answer questions about whether Trump had been on oxygen, whether he had any lung damage, or a number of basic facts about his condition. He was just … good. Super duper good. So good that Conley twice repeated a statement that Trump was “ready to walk out” of Walter Reed. Except for the detail of how he was receiving one antiviral drug under an emergency use authorization, and an experimental antibody treatment under a compassionate use statement.
Then, just minutes after Conley spoke, reporters heard an astoundingly different report. Far from being ready to wrestle lions and dash off a few marathons, reporters heard a very different view from a “source familiar with Trump’s health.” That anonymous source indicated there were genuine reasons to worry about Trump’s condition.
“The President's vitals over last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We are still not on a clear path to a full recovery," they reportedly said.
This was just one of several anonymous statements that have indicated that Trump has been “spooked” by his COVID-19 diagnosis and is having serious difficulties. But who could be feeding information to reporters that so conflicts with the optimistic beat being spread by Conley?
UPDATE: Immediately after the press conference ended and before the anonymous statement was sent out, Mark Meadows briefed reporters without cameras—but he was caught on a feed asking to be off the record. pic.twitter.com/JyrhSmu1Y0
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) October 3, 2020
As this sessions ends, Meadows can be heard making it clear that they do not see him, because he was never there. And he certainly wasn’t talking to the same reporters who provided the statement from the anonymous source.
Meadows: “Obviously the cameras are still rolling. So if we can go off the record with some of y’all and get away from the cameras ...”
The real question now is … who is the next chief of staff?
Republished with permission from Daily Kos.