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White House physician Sean Conley refused to answer questions at a press briefing Monday about when President Trump last tested negative for COVID-19 or what his lung scans have shown, citing the medical privacy law HIPAA.

Why it matters: Conley's credibility has been called into question after he acknowledged withholding information from the press about Trump receiving supplemental oxygen on Friday.

  • Conley was also forced to walk back details surrounding the timeline of Trump's diagnosis on Saturday, and he had his optimistic assessment of the president's condition undermined by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows via an anonymous statement to the press corps.
  • White House communications director Alyssa Farah said Sunday that Conley withheld specific details and painted a more rosy outlook in order to "convey confidence" and "raise the spirits" of the president.

Driving the news: Asked when Trump last tested negative, Conley said that he doesn't want to "go backwards" and that "contact tracing, as I understand it, is being done. I'm not involved with that." Conley also declined to go into detail about how Trump will be able to safely quarantine at the White House.

Key exchange:

REPORTER: "Does the president have pneumonia or any inflammation in his lungs at all?"
CONLEY: "We've done routine standard imaging. I'm just not at liberty to discuss." 
REPORTER: "You're actively not telling us what those lung scans showed, just to be clear?"
CONLEY: "There are HIPAA rules and regulations that restrict me in sharing certain things for his safety and his own health and reasons."

Go deeper: Trump to continue coronavirus treatment after being discharged from Walter Reed

Go deeper

Jan 12, 2021 - Health

Scoop: The Trump administration's plan to speed up vaccinations

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Trump administration is set to deliver new guidelines today that will get coronavirus vaccinations moving much faster.

Driving the news: New federal guidelines will recommend opening up the process to everyone older than 65, and will also aim to move doses out the door rather than holding some back.

Updated Jan 12, 2021 - Health

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine expected to provide immunity for at least 1 year

Photo: Mario Tama via Getty

Moderna's coronavirus vaccine will provide immunity from the disease for at least one year, the biotech company said Monday per Reuters.

Why it matters: Moderna's vaccine is one of two now authorized for emergency use in the U.S., as coronavirus cases surge past 22.5 million nationally and 90.8 million globally.

3 mins ago - Health

Popular independent COVID tracker officially ends daily updates

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer group of data analysts, researchers, and journalists brought together by The Atlantic, published its final daily update on Monday — the one-year anniversary of its founding.

Why it matters: The project quickly became a vital resource for news media, academic researchers, and everyday Americans to track COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the absence of reliable and public data from the federal government.