Trump's Chief of Staff Says President's 'Blood Oxygen Level Dropped Rapidly,' Had 'Fever' on Friday

After a day of conflicting updates regarding the president's health, Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows said that he had been "very concerned" on Friday morning

Donald Trump
Donald Trump. Photo: Joyce N Boghosian/AP/Shutterstock

Although the White House previously said that President Donald Trump was only exhibiting "mild symptoms" on Friday, even as he was hospitalized, his chief of staff revealed that the president was exhibiting more concerning coronavirus symptoms.

After a day of conflicting updates regarding the president’s health, Mark Meadows told Fox News' Jeanine Pirro that he had been “very concerned” on Friday morning.

“He is doing extremely well, in fact, I’m very optimistic based on the current results, and as the doctor says, he’s not out of the woods,” Meadows told Jeanine Pirro. “He’s made unbelievable improvements from yesterday morning when I know a number of us, the doctor and I, were very concerned.”

Meadows went on to share that the “biggest” improvements they had seen related to Trump’s fever and “oxygen saturation level.”

“Yesterday morning we were real concerned with that,” Meadows said. “He had a fever and a blood oxygen level had dropped rapidly and yet in typical style, this president was up and walking around.”

Earlier in the day, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley told reporters that Trump had been fever-free for 24 hours and that the president was not currently receiving supplemental oxygen, although he evaded answering more specific questions.

Despite their concern over the president’s health, Meadows said that there was “never a consideration and never even a risk of a transition of power.”

In an interview with Fox News, Rudy Giuliani also said that he spoke to Trump on Saturday, with the president telling him that he “felt pretty bad the first day” but was feeling “perfectly fine” as of that afternoon.

Meadows’ latest comments came after he told reporters on Saturday that Trump’s vitals were “very concerning.”

"The next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery,” he said after Saturday’s press conference, during which time Trump’s doctor said the president was "doing very well.”

Although a pool report initially attributed the statement to an anonymous source, the Associated Press went on to identify the source as Meadows, who was also seen on camera speaking to reporters off camera after Saturday’s press conference.

In a Saturday evening health update, Trump’s physician said the president “continues to do well” and has made “substantial progress” since his diagnosis on Thursday evening.

“This evening he completed his second dose of Remdesivir without complication. He remains fever-free and off supplemental oxygen with a saturation level between 96 and 98% all day,” Conley wrote in the memo. “He spent most of the afternoon conducting business, and has been up and moving about the medical suite without difficulty.”

“While not yet out of the woods, the team remains cautiously optimistic. The plan for tomorrow is to continue observation in between doses of Remdesivir, closely monitoring his clinical status while fully supporting his conduct of Presidential duties,” he added.

The White House also released a video and two images of the president on Saturday night, which appeared to show him working from the hospital. Metadata in both of the White House photos indicate that the images were taken ten minutes apart.

“Nothing can stop him from working for the American people. RELENTLESS!” daughter Ivanka Trump wrote on Twitter after the photos were released.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump. Shutterstock

Amid the conflicting health updates, on Saturday night it was revealed that an additional aide close to Trump had contracted COVID-19.

Nicholas Luna, the director of Oval Office Operations who typically travels alongside the president, had tested positive, according to ABC News. Luna is also married to an assistant to the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

In a previous update on Friday, the White House said that the president’s children Ivanka and Barron have both tested negative for COVID-19. “Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were tested again for COVID-19 and both are negative," Carolina Hurley, Ivanka's spokeswoman, said in a brief statement to PEOPLE.

Hurley also said that Ivanka and her husband were both tested Friday.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

Related Articles