In a new book about his time in the White House, Meadows says that by the morning of October 2, 2020, Trump’s oxygen levels had dropped to about 86%, suggesting White House physician Dr. Sean Conley to recommend that the president be moved to the hospital.
Meadows’ previously undisclosed details reveal how much more serious Trump’s diagnosis with Covid-19 was than what Trump’s medical team shared with the public at the time.
“That morning Dr. Conley took me aside and brought bad news. Although the president’s condition had improved slightly overnight, his oxygen level had now dropped to about 86 percent and he could be dropping to a dangerous level. low level for someone his age,” Meadows wrote in his book “The Chief’s Chief,” published Tuesday.
CNN has reached out to Trump for comment. Conley did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.
Meadows recalled the morning of October 2, writing in his book that Conley and doctors at Walter Reed and Johns Hopkins decided to give the president oxygen at the White House residence “and hope for the best,” but Conley later let Meadows know that to get Trump to Walter Reed “‘quickly, in case he takes the worst.'”
When Meadows went to tell the president, he found Trump “rising in bed in his T-shirt, and didn’t look like he was going anywhere”.
“It was the first time I saw him in anything other than a golf shirt or a suit jacket,” Meadows wrote, adding that Trump pretended it was every other day and tried to work.
Trump initially refused to be taken to the hospital, but relented when Meadows told him that “It’s better that you walk out of here today on your own, on your own, than I have to carry you on a stretcher in two days. “
When he walked to the helicopter that would transport him to Walter Reed, Trump was unable to hold a suitcase, the weight of which Meadows said was “too heavy.”
“He looked at me, almost surprised that he had to put it down. ‘I’m sorry,’ he said. ‘I just can’t get that out,'” Meadows wrote.
On the night of his first showdown with Biden, Trump arrived too late to be tested before the debate, according to Fox News’ anchor and debate moderator Chris Wallace.
Meadows wrote that “we will probably never know if President Trump was positive that night.”
Trump denied Meadows’ account last week, saying in a statement that “the story that I had COVID prior to or during the first debate is fake news. In fact, a test showed that I did not have COVID prior to the debate.”
Gabby Orr of CNN contributed to this report.