Supporters of President Donald Trump gather outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images.

It is very difficult to get a comprehensive, trustworthy read on the severity of President Trump's infection.

What they're saying: Sean Conley, Trump's lead doctor, said all weekend that Trump is doing well and experiencing only relatively minor symptoms. And with its many photo ops, the White House is clearly trying to send the same message.

Yes, but: The details we have about Trump's treatment regimen could call that optimism into question.

  • Trump is now taking the steroid dexamethasone, Conley said Sunday. That drug may help save the lives of seriously ill patients, especially those on ventilators. But it's less effective for patients who are only on supplemental oxygen, and has shown no benefit in the mildest cases.
  • Trump is also receiving two other treatments: remdesivir, which has been shown to reduce hospitalization but not to save seriously ill patients' lives, and an experimental antibody treatment from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

Between the lines: The fact that Trump's doctors added dexamethasone to his treatment regimen likely means that they were concerned about his condition deteriorating, possibly because of a drop in his oxygen levels, doctors uninvolved in Trump's treatment told Bloomberg.

"It feels like a whole lot of Kremlinology and I'd just be happier if they’d tell us the truth," University of California, San Francisco medical professor Robert Wachter, told STAT.

Go deeper

Updated 16 hours ago - World

In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe

A skeleton is placed at a restaurant table in Rome on Oct. 25 to protest Italy's restrictions that'll see gyms, movie theaters and pools close and bars and restaurants required to shut by 6 p.m. until at least Nov. 24. Photo: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

Restrictions are returning across much of Europe as the continent faces a second coronavirus wave.

The big picture: Spain and France each surpassed 1 million cases last week, and both countries have implemented further restrictions on citizens. Italian officials announced strict new measures, effective Monday, to combat another cases spike. From Denmark to Romania, take a look at what steps countries have been taking, in photos.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pence no longer expected at Amy Coney Barrett's final confirmation vote

Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence no longer plans to attend the Senate's final confirmation vote for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a Pence aide confirmed to CNN and Politico on Monday. On Sunday, Senate Democrats claimed that his presence after possible exposure to the coronavirus would be a "violation of common decency."

Driving the news: Five of Pence's aides were recently diagnosed with COVID-19, including his chief of staff, who is currently quarantining. Pence has continued his campaign travel despite his possible exposure, which goes against CDC guidelines.

Updated 17 hours ago - World

Australian city Melbourne to exit one of world's longest lockdowns

People socially distance at St. Kilda beach in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Coronavirus restrictions in Victoria, Australia, will ease and state capital Melbourne's lockdown will end after officials recorded Monday no new cases for the first time in 139 days, state Premier Dan Andrews announced.

Why it matters: The state has been the epicenter of Australia's pandemic and Melbourne has endured one of the world's longest lockdowns. The measure will have been in place for 112 days when it lifts late Tuesday.

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