Donald Trump’s oxygen levels reached concerning lows before he was hospitalized for COVID-19 in October 2020, a new book by his former chief of staff revealed.
Mark Meadow’s account on ‘The Chief’s Chief,’ going on sale on Tuesday, contradicts Trump, who has relentlessly insisted his illness was not severe at all.
‘(Trump’s) oxygen levels had now dipped down to about 86 percent and could be trending lower, a dangerously low level for someone his age,’ Meadows writes in he book.
Meadows also touched on how White House medical officials downplayed the seriousness of the then-President’s wellbeing, and Trump’s initial refusal to receive care at Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland, The New York Times reported.
‘It’s better that you walk out of here today under your own strength, your own power, than for me to have to carry you out on a gurney in two days,’ Meadows recounts telling Trump on October 1, 2020.
The diagnosis came just weeks before the presidential election, with image-conscious Trump likely all too-aware that being seen in poor health would damage his then-shaky prospects of re-election.
Donald Trump’s oxygen levels reached a concerning 86 percent before being hospitalized for COVID-19 in October 2020, a new book by his former chief of staff revealed. Above, Trump stands on the balcony outside of the Blue Room as he returned to the White House Monday after being treated for COVID on October 5, 2020
Trump waves from the back of a car in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020
Mark Meadow’s account on ‘The Chief’s Chief,’ going on sale on Tuesday, contradicts Trump, who has relentlessly insisted his illness was not severe at all
According to a New York Times report this year, which Trump denied, he experienced depressed oxygen levels and fluid-filled lungs while he battled COVID-19 in 2020.
Trump was famously filmed gasping for air on the White House balcony after returning home following three days of treatment at Walter Reed.
He went for a drive-by while being treated, waving at passing fans while Secret Service personnel clad in hazmat gear drove him in an armored SUV.
The former president was accused of risking those staff members’ health, with the drive-by taking place before COVID vaccines were made available.
In October, Trump said that Meadows’ book would be an ‘incredible Christmas present’ for anyone who wanted ‘to learn about politics, truth [and] our great administration.’
But the former president’s tune about the book changed when bombshell revelations about Trump’s COVID-positive timeline came to light.
Meadows wrote that Trump tested positive, then negative, for the virus just three days before he got on the debate stage with Joe Biden.
Shortly after Trump announcement on Twitter that he had tested positive COVID, he recorded a blood oxygen level of just 86 percent, ten points below a healthy rate, according to Meadows.
Meadows also recounted how Dr Sean Conley, Chief of Trump’s White House medical team made him aware of the ex-President’s concerning condition.
‘That morning, Dr Conley pulled me aside and delivered some bad news,’ Conley reportedly told Meadows. ‘Although the president’s condition had improved slightly overnight, his oxygen levels had now dipped down to about 86 percent and could be trending lower, a dangerously low level for someone his age.’
Prior to being transported to Walter Reed to receive proper care for his symptoms, Trump had been put on oxygen as his medical team grappled with his worsening condition.
When it became evident that he needed outside care, Meadows was asked to intervene.
Donald Trump poses on the Truman Balcony of the White House after returning from being hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center for coronavirus disease on October 5, 2020
A vehicle in US President Trump’s motorcade drives by supporters as they rally outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020
Former US President Donald Trump disembarks from the Marine One helicopter followed by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows as he arrived at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after testing positive for COVID-19
Timeline of Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis and public events he attended
September 26, 2020: Trump tests positive, according to Mark Meadows.
The former president attends Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s Rose Garden Ceremony, later regarded as a ‘super spreader’ event amid reports that more than a dozen White House aides became infected with COVID.
Meadows reportedly wrote that the positive result came from an ‘old model testing kit,’ and that another COVID test came back negative.
September 27, 2020: Trumps holds a press briefing for Gold Star families.
September 28, 2020: Trump holds a press briefing with Mike Pence to announce distribution of COVID testing kits.
September 29, 2020: Trump and Biden hold their first debate.
September 30, 2020: Trump holds rally in Minnesota
October 1, 2020: White House aid Hope Hicks tests positive. Trump announces he has too.
October 2, 2020: Trump is taken to Walter Reed
‘We don’t have the resources to do it here,’ Conley allegedly told Meadows.
Meadows wrote that he worried ‘that the notion of him [Trump] going to the hospital, in his mind, would seem like an act of capitulation.’
‘I remembered what Dr. Conley had said. We were in trouble, and the president needed to get to the hospital,’ he adds in the book.
Trump first announced he was taking a coronavirus test on October 1, 2020 after news broke that his aide, Hope Hicks, had tested positive.
According to Meadows, the ex-President tested positive on September 26, 2020, but attended several ceremonies and conferences in the following days.
He notoriously attended Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s Rose Garden Ceremony, later regarded as a ‘super spreader’ event, amid reports that more than a dozen White House aides became infected with COVID.
‘I’ve lost so much strength,’ Meadows recalls Trump saying after being infected. ‘The muscles are just not responding.’
Meadows wrote that Trump tested positive, then negative, for the virus just three days before he got on the debate stage with Joe Biden on September 29, 2020.
Trump quickly denied the claim.
‘The story of me having COVID prior to, or during, the first debate is Fake News,’ he said.
Meadows reportedly wrote that the positive result came from an ‘old model testing kit,’ and that another COVID test came back negative – the White House never disclosed the first result, and the debate went on.
‘Well, the president’s right, it’s fake news,’ Meadows said in an interview with Newsmax Wednesday.
‘If you actually read the book, the context of it, that story outlined a false positive.’