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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

Jan 12, 2021 - Health

All visitors to U.S. will require negative COVID test to fly

Photo: NIKLAS HALLE'N / Getty Images

Anyone flying to the United States must test negative for the coronavirus before boarding their flight under a policy announced Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: With cases surging in the U.S., and new, more contagious variants emerging in other countries, the CDC says pre-flight testing will help slow the spread of the virus until the American public is fully vaccinated.

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.

Trump says he plans to launch new social media network in 2022

Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Wednesday announced plans to launch a social media network called "Truth Social," and that it would go public via a SPAC.

Why it matters: Most ex-presidents are focused on their legacies, by creating presidential libraries or engaging in philanthropic endeavors. Trump, however, remains consumed by social media.

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