Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Non-WH Doctors Worry About Trump's Condition In Week Two: "For The Next Few Days, I'd Want Him 50 Feet Away From An ICU, Not A Helicopter Ride"

The Trump administration is literally infecting the highest level of the US government and military with corruption, incompetence, chaos, illness, and death.

Oh. And winning.

So much winning. . . . Everyone is sick of winning.
Chris Marquette, Roll Call, October 6, 2020:
As COVID-19 cases spread through the White House and ruffle the Senate, cases among front-line workers on Capitol Hill continue to rise in the center of American government, which to this day lacks a comprehensive testing regimen for all workers.

There are now 123 Legislative Branch employees or contractors who have tested positive — or are presumed positive — for COVID-19, according to Ashley Phelps, a Republican spokeswoman for the House Administration Committee. This total has increased by 20 since Aug. 28.

The count includes 46 Capitol Police employees, 42 Architect of the Capitol employees and 35 contractors working on the Cannon Building renovation project. These numbers reflect total cases since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Oct. 5, there are 22 Capitol Police employees who are on paid administrative leave.
Mike Pence appears to be grasping at straws, looking for an excuse — any excuse — not to debate Kamala Harris on Wednesday night. The Commission on Presidential Debates said yesterday that both campaigns had agreed to have clear dividers between the candidates during the debate. Now Pence's office is actively refusing any divider. According to his chief of staff, Pence does not think plexiglass dividers are medically necessary. It could be a ploy to avoid being embarrassed on national television.

The White House is obsessed with keeping the date of Trump's last negative test a secret. The date is damning only if it means Trump knew he was positive during the first debate with Joe Biden. The White House has already given out two conflicting stories.

For months this summer, the White House has implied that Trump was tested every day. That was a lie. (They even tried floating the hilarious lie that Trump was tested "multiple times per day".) But even if Trump was not tested every day, that's not really terrible for the White House. 

The Cleveland Clinic, which is in charge of testing for the debates, states Trump's last negative test could have been as far back as Saturday, September 26. Today, the Clinic stated it was told by Trump's campaign that Trump had tested negative at some point during the 72 hours prior to last week's debate. (Note: Anyone who takes the assurances of anyone connected to Trump is a fool.)

Trump arrived at last Tuesday's debate too late to be tested. That was probably intentional. It's quite possible Trump either already knew he was positive or he suspected he was infected. Either way, the Clinic accepted that Trump, who would be described two days later as "the single largest driver of misinformation around Covid" by a Cornell University study that analyzed 38 million news articles, had tested negative within the previous 72 hours. Their only other option at that point was to cancel the debate only a few hours before it was scheduled to begin.

When Dr. Sean Conley was asked last Sunday when Trump last tested negative, he stated: "I don't want to go backwards." Such bullshit. Since Conley cannot predict the future, everything Conley was saying about Trump's condition was going backwards.

Also on Sunday, October 4, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked if Trump was tested before the debate. She avoided answering directly. "I'm not going to give you a detailed readout with timestamps every time the president is tested. He's tested regularly." Asked again, on October 6, whether Trump was tested the day of the debate, a White House official said, "the president is tested regularly".

We can safely assume Trump was not tested on Tuesday, September 29. But when was he last tested? Knowing the timing of Trump's last negative test would establish when Trump was exposed and when he may have become contagious. Symptoms typically develop four to five days after a person is infected, though the "incubation period" can sometimes take up to two weeks. Knowing the type of test is also important. The rapid Abbott tests used by the White House are meant to be given within the first seven days of symptoms; otherwise, they have a high rate of false negatives.

Since news of Trump's diagnosis early Friday morning, Joe Biden has tested negative at least four times, including twice on Friday and most recently Tuesday. Biden's campaign has promised to release results from all of his future tests.

Peter Aldhouse, Buzzfeed News:
[D]octors on the front lines of treating patients with COVID-19 told BuzzFeed News that it is still too early to assume that he is on a certain road to recovery. Months of clinical experience have shown that the disease sometimes flares up dangerously in the second week of symptoms, even in patients who had seemed to be doing well.

"Clinicians should be aware of the potential for some patients to rapidly deteriorate one week after illness onset," the CDC warns in its clinical guidance for managing patients with COVID-19, last updated Sept. 10.

"It can go in a lot of different directions," Robert Wachter, chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told BuzzFeed News, shortly before the doctors announced that he would return to the White House later in the day.

"For the next few days, I'd want him 50 feet away from an ICU, not a helicopter ride," Wachter said.

Trump has been given treatments that are normally reserved for seriously ill patients.

To require oxygen and to be put on remdesivir and dexamethasone so quickly after becoming infected suggests that Trump's illness was fairly severe . . .

Trump's doctors have withheld some crucial information. We do know that Trump was given a lung scan . . . But the president's doctors have refused to answer multiple questions about what his lung scans show . . . Notably, Conley did not say that Trump's scan was normal. . . .

The other big uncertainty is when Trump got infected, as Conley has refused to answer questions about when Trump last tested negative . . . 

That timeline is important, because the second week of COVID-19 can be the most dangerous. Doctors warned that patients in the second week of the disease can suddenly get much more seriously ill.

"Week two is the worst because of the fact that you have the inflammatory response to the virus," Cedric Dark, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told BuzzFeed News. In the most severe cases, patients may experience a "cytokine storm," an aggressive inflammatory immune response that causes severe lung damage. If unchecked, it can lead to multiple organ failure and death.

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