New York Times reporters Maggie Haberman and Noah Weiland sat down with Mark Meadows to discuss his upcoming book in which he reveals former President Donald Trump received a positive COVID-19 test days before his first debate with President Joe Biden.
Promoting the story on Twitter, Haberman said that Meadows went into great detail about former President Donald Trump's health. The piece explained that Trump "has long been fearful of appearing weak," and in the past, he's tried to hide details about just how sick he was.
"The former president denied a detailed New York Times report this year that he was more ill than his aides had revealed, with depressed oxygen levels and lung infiltrates, which occur when they are inflamed and filled with fluid or bacteria," the piece explained.
"On Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, hours after the president announced on Twitter that he had tested positive for the virus, he recorded a blood oxygen level of about 86 percent," the report said, citing Meadows's book. "That is roughly 10 points below what would be considered normal. Most healthy people have a blood oxygen level of about 95 to 98 percent, although some people may have lower normal readings."
Meadows said that the president's health had gone downhill so quickly that the medical team was scared they wouldn't "be able to treat him adequately without immediate attention" at a hospital. Dr. Sean Conley, the head of Trump's White House medical team, told Meadows, that "although the president’s condition had improved slightly overnight, his oxygen levels had now dipped down to about 86 percent and could be trending lower, a dangerously low level for someone his age.”
Their only option was to put Trump on oxygen "and hope for the best." The doctors approached Meadows for help, explaining the resources weren't available for Trump at the White House. He needed a hospital.
“I worried that the notion of him going to the hospital, in his mind, would seem like an act of capitulation,” Meadows wrote. “I was right.”
Meadows recalled walking into Trump's bedroom and seeing him trying to make calls. But Trump's appearance was so dramatic that Meadows recalled Dr. Conley saying "we were in trouble." His eyes were red and his hair was a mess "from the hours he’d spent getting Regeneron in bed."
By the time Trump was heading to the helicopter he was so weak, he couldn't even carry his briefcase. “I’ve lost so much strength,” Meadows quoted Trump telling him. “The muscles are just not responding."
It's a story similar to one reported by Michael Bender in his book, Frankly, We Did Win This Election. In his story, Trump tried to grab his overnight bag once he got to Walter Reed, but he dropped it, unable to carry it.
"When it fell to the floor, the doctors, aides, and law enforcement officers around Trump all seemed to take a step back. It appeared to Trump as if they were nervous about his infection and didn’t want to touch his belongings," Bender wrote.
Former Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman said in an October interview that Trump should come clean with voters about his health if he intends to run in 2024. She didn't specify if she was talking about COVID or anything else, however.
"I think going into 2024, I'm really more concerned about the fact that Donald Trump hasn't come forward and talked about his health," she said. "I don't know if he will even be healthy enough to run in 2024. I think he needs to come clean to the American people about where he is on that before deciding to get into a very stressful and strenuous race for the White House."