Democrat Joe Biden tests negative for coronavirus after President Trump reports positive test
Democrat Joe Biden has tested negative for coronavirus, his doctor announced Friday, hours after President Donald Trump announced a positive testDr. Kevin O'Connor, the primary care physician, said Biden and his wife Jill were each tested and "COVID-19 was not detected.
President Donald Trump's condition has continued to improve since being taken to the hospital Friday due to symptoms from a COVID-19 infection, White House physician Sean Conley told reporters on Sunday.
Conley had previously said he was using a "multi-prong" approach to treat Trump. He said Sunday that included the steroid dexamethasone in response to Trump's blood oxygen level dropping twice.
Fact check: Claim that Trump's positive COVID-19 test result is a 'con' has no basis in fact
A claim suggesting President Trump will politically leverage his positive test result includes speculations that aren't proven. We rate the claim false.President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Friday morning to confirm a positive COVID-19 test result.
An affordable, widely available steroid, dexamethasone has shown promise in improving survival outcomes in COVID-19 patients.
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Although the British government has authorized its use among some patients, it remains unclear how beneficial the treatment may be for less severe COVID-19 cases. Further, it has not been peer-reviewed or replicated in other studies.
What we know about the potentially lifesaving treatment:
What is dexamethasone?
Usually prescribed as an oral or intravenous steroid, dexamethasone is a general purpose anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling drug used for a variety of conditions, said Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu, an infectious disease doctor and associate professor of medicine at Yale, in June.
Like other steroids, however, "it is a non-specific treatment not necessarily targeting a single, specific pathway of inflammation or swelling," Ogbuagu says. That has its drawbacks.
How is it used to treat COVID-19 patients?
Generally, COVID-19 comes in two phases, explained Ogbuagu.
"People get the virus, it replicates, and that's the first phase of the illness," he said. "Afterward, around 10 days into the infection, people start to produce antibodies and inflammatory reactions to the virus."
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Video: Trump required oxygen treatments but could be discharged as early as Monday (POLITICO)
These inflammatory chemicals can sometimes create severe COVID-19 complications, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, which makes it difficult for oxygen to enter the bloodstream and reach organs.
Patients with severe COVID-19 complications saw significant benefits with dexamethasone in the United Kingdom study. These patients took it for 10 days, either orally or via IV.
As of June, it had reduced deaths by 35% in patients who needed treatment with breathing machines and by 20% in those needing supplemental oxygen. It did not appear to help less ill patients.
Trump is receiving lots of medical care. Some doctors wonder if it's too much.
Are there complications?
Ogbuagu notes that timing and selectiveness among patients is critical to ensure dexamethasone is properly used as a treatment for COVID-19.
Early findings suggest COVID-19 patients who do not have severe symptoms, such as requiring a respirator, should not take dexamethasone.
"The downside of steroids is that it's not selective," Ogbuagu said. "It's a double-edged sword that may hinder your body's ability to fight the virus."
He noted that some studies have found higher mortality rates in people who used steroids, since they inhibit the body's immune response to the virus.
The World Health Organization and other organizations advise against using steroids earlier in the course of illness because they can impede clearing the virus.
Ogbuagu also says that steroids, in general, may cause some severe side effects, such as new or worsening diabetes, as well as psychosis or emotional disturbance.
What does it mean for the president?
“It is common for people who hold positions of stature to get more aggressive care because there’s pressure to give someone everything imaginable. I would hope his physicians are being very deliberate in the treatment,” said Dr. Russell Buhr, a professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.
That could explain why the president is receiving relatively aggressive treatment for someone whose physician described him as “doing very well” on both Saturday and Sunday.
But Buhr said that he doesn't “think we can speculate on the reasons behind the care."
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Contributing: Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY, Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY.
(L-R) Assistant to the President and Director of Oval Office Operations Nicholas Luna, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Dan Scavino, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller, and counselor to President Hope Hicks walk to Marine One to depart from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on Sept. 30, 2020.
Michael Haidet, in charge of presidential scheduling and advance, right, Oval Office special assistant Austin Ferrer, look out from outside the Oval Office as President Donald Trump departs the White House, Sept. 30, 2020, in Washington, for the short trip to Andrews Air Force Base en route to Minnesota.
President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on Sept, 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio.
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President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump hold hands on stage after the first presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio on Sept. 29, 2020.
(From L) Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Lara Trump, Tiffany Trump and Ivanka Trump are seen ahead of the first presidential debate at the Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio on September 29, 2020.
Ivanka Trump removes her mask after arriving at the first Presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sept. 29, 2020, in Cleveland.
Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump arrive before President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump on Sept. 29, 2020 at the White House in Washington, D.C.
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President Donald Trump chats with Steve Burns Lordstown Motors CEO about the new Endurance all-electric pickup truck on the south lawn of the White House on Sept. 28, 2020 in Washington, DC. They bought the old GM Lordstown plant in Ohio to build the Endurance all-electric pickup truck, inside those four wheels are electric motors similar to electric scooters.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and others listen while US President Donald Trump answers questions during a briefing at the White House Sept. 27, 2020, in Washington, DC.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (L) and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani arrives before U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to a news conference in the Briefing Room of the White House on Sept. 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Hope Hicks, Counselor to the President, cheers as President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Harrisburg International Airport, Sept. 26, 2020, in Middletown, Pa. Special assistant to the President and White House trip director William Russell, center, and director of the White House personnel office John McEntee, watch.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett walks to the microphone after President Donald Trump, right, announced Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington.
President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, 7th U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, and her family walk along the Rose Garden Colonnade after Trump announced Barrett as his nominee for the Supreme Court at the White House Sept. 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.
With few wearing masks to protect against the coronavirus, Republican senators Rep. Deb Fischer (R-NE), Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) join other guests as they applaud President Donald Trump as he introduces 7th U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 48, as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at the White House September 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Tiffany Trump, daughter of President Donald Trump, arrives for a ceremony where her father will introduce 7th U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 48, as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at the White House Sept. 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, left, Attorney General William Barr and former presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway attend a Rose Garden event Sept. 26 where President Donald Trump introduced Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 48, as his nominee to the Supreme Court.
Lobbyist Corey Lewandowski (R) talks with fellow guests in the Rose Garden after President Donald Trump introduced 7th U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 48, as his nominee to the Supreme Court at the White House Sept. 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.
From right, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie greet people after President Donald Trump announced Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr arrives in the Rose Garden before President Donald Trump introduces 7th U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 48, as his nominee to the court at the White House Sept. 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.
President Donald Trump and National President of the Fraternal Order of Police Patrick Yoes speak during a "Make America Great Again" campaign rally at Harrisburg international airport in Middletown, Pa. on Sept. 26, 2020.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: White House doctor announced Trump is being treated with dexamethasone. Here's what we know about the drug.
RNC 2020 Day 4: Trump accepts nomination from White House .
The Republican National Convention concluded Thursday under the theme "Land of Greatness" with President Trump formally accepting the GOP nomination from the White House. A fireworks display lit up the sky above the Washington Monument at the conclusion of his remarks.