Mixed messages coming from Trump doctors sets a low bar for GOP voting confidence
President Donald Trump speaking to reporters outside the White House (screengrab)

White House communication has been muddied since President Donald J. Trump entered Walter Reed Medical Center Friday and it's done tremendous damage to the incumbent president's reelection campaign.


Trump is reportedly furious at White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows following his less-than-stellar address to the nation about his boss’ health. The difference of opinion occurred minutes after the president’s team of doctors gave a rosy interpretation of their patient’s road to recovery. The conflicting information was public fodder for the remainder of the day Saturday with numerous television news channels digging in an attempt at reaching some sort of reality, but it didn't seem to help matters for the Republicans.

“The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning, and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care,” Meadows told reporters Saturday, asking not to be mentioned by name. “We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”

Trump hurriedly responded with his own video claiming he was "feeling well!"

The following day, on Sunday afternoon, Trump’s doctors said he could be released from Walter Reed Medical Center as early as Monday pending his conditions continued to improve.

"If he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is that we can plan for a discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House where he can continue his treatment course," said Brian Garibaldi, a doctor from Johns Hopkins University who is part of Trump’s medical team.

This is the latest in a presidency full of misstatements, misunderstandings and missteps - but it's par for the course where Trump is concerned. Just before his COVID-19 positive test, Trump the 74-year-old president mocked Joe Biden, his 77-year-old Democratic rival in the current election, for wearing a mask at the debate.

“I don’t wear masks like him,” Trump said. “Every time you see him, he’s got a mask.”

Former Baltimore Health Commissioner Leana Wen told POLITICO Trump’s rapid progression from diagnosis to severe symptoms is highly unusual.

“The average time between symptom onset and having shortness of breath and other respiratory symptoms, it's five to eight days,” Wen said. “For that to happen all within one day, either the President had an ordinarily high viral load, or there's something about the time course that is off.”