(Image: Sipa USA/Chris Kleponis)

After just three nights being treated for COVID-19 in the Walter Reed Military Hospital, US President Donald Trump has walked free, giving reporters the thumbs up on his way out. 

During his stay, Trump was given a cocktail of experimental drugs including antibody treatment REGN-COV2, remdesivir, supplemental oxygen and dexamethasone. His symptoms, described as mild by White House officials, included fever, cough, and low oxygen saturation levels.

Yesterday, medical experts told Crikey the drugs of choice indicated Trump may be faring worse than his doctors were letting on. 

What do they think now he’s out? 

Queensland University infectious diseases physician Dr Paul Griffin told Crikey it’s simply too early to tell how Trump is faring. 

“He’s still very early in the course of his illness. We often see people deteriorate between days seven and 10,” he said.

Trump announced he had tested positive on Friday. Trump’s own doctors have warned he’s not out of the woods yet.

“That combination of treatment has never been studied in a clinical trial. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s hard to know if [it] made a difference or to hail any intervention as a success.”

Infectious disease specialist at Australian National University Dr Gaetan Burgio agreed with Griffin, telling Crikey Trump’s discharge was “unreal”. 

“It’s only been three days. Usually, patients stay seven days — we see patients in the ICU two weeks after testing positive. It’s too premature, and he should stay in observation,” Burgio said. 

The most baffling part of Trump’s release, Burgio said, was that Trump is still contagious. 

“It’s extraordinary. The White House is a cluster. How many more people will he contaminate?”  

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey