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article imageOp-Ed: The president was given dexamethasone? That is a 'big red flag'

By Karen Graham     Oct 5, 2020 in Politics
On Sunday, Dr. Sean Conley said President Donald Trump was given a steroid called dexamethasone following "two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen saturation," meaning his oxygen levels dropped too low. This raises a "big red flag."
"We debated the reasons for this and whether we even intervene," Conley said at a news conference at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. It "was a determination of the team, based predominantly on the timeline from the initial diagnosis, that we initiate dexamethasone."
Trump got his first dose of the steroid, presumably by IV on Saturday, and Dr. Conley went on to say the president would be on it for "the time being."
Based on what the medical team treating the president has said, the use of the steroid does raise some red flags. Dexamethasone is used to treat a number of conditions, including breathing problems, such as COPD or acute asthma.
It was also tested on hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in the United Kingdom’s national clinical trial RECOVERY and was found to have benefits for critically ill patients. And keep in mind the keywords mentioned in the study - "critically ill patients." For patients on ventilators, the treatment was shown to reduce mortality by about one third, and for patients requiring only oxygen, mortality was cut by about one fifth.
The drug is reserved for those patients with severe illness, because it has not been shown to benefit those with milder forms of the disease and may even be risky.
US President Donald Trump wears a mask as he visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in ...
US President Donald Trump wears a mask as he visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on July 11, 2020
"The fact that he got the steroid sets up a bit of a red flag that there's something going on here," NBC News senior medical correspondent Dr. John Torres told Kate Snow on Sunday, reports NBC News. . "I think they might be painting a little bit of a rosy picture for everyone."
Questions, questions, questions
With all the discrepancies in the daily reports from the president's doctor and the White House, it has been difficult to determine with any certainty just how sick Trump really is. And the discrepancies also raise another question - Who is actually in charge of Trump's medical treatment?
“The dexamethasone is the most mystifying of the drugs we’re seeing him being given at this point,” said Dr. Thomas McGinn, physician-in-chief at Northwell Health, the largest health care provider in New York State. The drug is normally not used unless the patient’s condition seems to be deteriorating, he added.
"Suddenly, they’re throwing the kitchen sink at him,” Dr. McGinn said. “It raises the question: Is he sicker than we’re hearing, or are they being overly aggressive because he is the president, in a way that could be potentially harmful?”
Many medical experts have raised another possibility - V.I.P. Syndrome. Yes, it is an actual condition describing prominent figures who receive poor medical care because doctors are too zealous in treating them or because the doctors let the patient determine the medications and treatment protocols.
US President Donald Trump  being treated for coronavirus  waves at supporters from the back of a car...
US President Donald Trump, being treated for coronavirus, waves at supporters from the back of a car in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
AFP/Alex Edelman
The country pretty well knows Trump's temper tantrums can be embarrassing, and the news media is already reporting that the president threw a tantrum Sunday, demanding he be allowed to do a "photo-op" visit to wave to his supporters outside the hospital.
The trip outside the hospital raises some serious questions. Is Trump really as sick as we are being told? Hey, sick people, especially those with COVID-19 severe enough to be taking a powerful steroid don't take joyrides around Maryland.
The other possibility is that the president is really seriously ill with the virus, and in this case, his doctors were not acting in his best interests and were endangering Trump's life.
On Sunday, the doctors said that Mr. Trump was in good spirits and that he was walking on his own and not complaining of shortness of breath.
“If he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is to plan for a discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House, where he can continue his treatment,” one of his doctors, Dr. Brian Garibaldi, said at the briefing on Sunday.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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