In a memo issued last Monday, Dr. Sean Conley announced that POTUS tested negative from the coronavirus for two consecutive days. However, the White House doctor’s statement did not state when Trump was last tested.
The President’s physician remarked that they’d used Abbott’s BinaxNOW antigen card to test Trump. The result was backed up by “viral load, subgenomic RNA and PCR cycle threshold measurements, [and]… viral culture data.” Data then shows “a lack of detectable virus replication.”
Although it is well-written, the physician did not reveal the exact data about the PCR threshold. Moreover, he did not say that the POTUS tested negative with a PCR laboratory test. A PCR test is more sensitive and more dependable in checking if a patient is infectious.
Some health experts criticized the type of test Trump used for the negative results. Health experts claim Dr. Conley’s usage of the BinaxNOW falls out of its emergency use authorization scope. It says that the test needs to be used “within the first seven days of symptom onset.” However, POTUS and the first lady developed symptoms ten days ago.
Health experts want the White House to release the PCR threshold results of the President.
“Please report the PCR test result and Ct value… Negative antigen tests aren’t really useful in determining infectiousness.”Ashish K. Jha tweeted
This announcement is yet another statement that remains unclear to the public. Early this month, Trump publicized his COVID-19 diagnosis and was admitted to Walter Reed National Medical Center.
The medical team gave daily press conferences or issued statements describing Trump’s COVID-19 symptoms as relatively mild. On those occasions, either Trump, Dr. Conley, or any White House staff has said that POTUS is “doing great.”
Trump’s medication includes vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin, aspirin, Remdesivir, and Dexamethasone. The last one is usually administered on COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms. Trump was also given an experimental antibody cocktail called Regeneron before going to the Walter Reed National Medical Center.
The White House’s contradicting, and sometimes confusing statements give a vague and incomplete storyline of Trump’s health. Dr. Conley, however, declared that he downplayed the gravity of the President’s illness. He said that he was “trying to reflect the upbeat attitude.”
“I didn’t want to give any… information that might steer the course of illness in another direction… It came off that we’re trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true.”Dr. Sean Conley
Nonetheless, the White House still carries on in dodging questions about the issue of when Trump was last tested negative.