Trump Given Dexamethasone Steroid, Drug Reserved For ‘Critical’ Cases Of COVID-19
President Donald Trump is continuing to be treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center following his positive COVID-19 diagnosis. In addition to being administered doses of Regeneron Pharmaceutical’s anti-viral cocktail and Gilead Science’s Remdesivir, Trump has also been given the steroid dexamethasone, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said on Sunday. Trump’s medical team said he took the first dose on Saturday and would remain on it for the “time being.”
Dexamethasone has shown to be beneficial in patients who have severe cases of COVID-19, but the drug is typically not used in more mild cases. In fact, if administered too early, dexamethasone can actually prove to be harmful, as it may weaken the body’s immune response to the virus.
On September 2, the World Health Organization recommended that the steroid only be given to individuals with “critical COVID-19.” The National Institute of Health has also advised that the drug should only be given to people whose conditions are severe enough to require supplemental oxygen or mechanical ventilation. The drug specifically works by reducing inflammation in and around the lungs, enabling the transport of oxygen through the bloodstream.
The status of President Trump’s oxygen supplements is still unknown. He was on supplemental oxygen on Friday following a drop in his levels, but it still remains unclear whether the president received oxygen again on Saturday. When asked by reporters if Trump had received additional supplemental oxygen, Dr. Conley said “I’d have to check with the nursing staff.” Regardless, Dr. Conley stated in an update Saturday night that Trump was off supplemental oxygen and his saturation levels were between a normal 96 percent and 98 percent all day.
Although many of the details surrounding Trump’s condition have yet to be revealed, doctors have indicated that the president is doing better and might be discharged from the hospital and return to the White House as early as Monday.