Former White House Doctor Shuts Down CNN: Trump’s Drive ‘Very Small’ Risk, ‘He Sounded Very Strong’
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Former White House Doctor Shuts Down CNN: Trump’s Drive ‘Very Small’ Risk, ‘He Sounded Very Strong’

Former White House physician Dr. William Lang shut down speculation over President Donald Trump’s health on CNN Sunday evening after the president took a brief trip outside of the hospital to see those who had gathered near the hospital to show support for him after he was diagnosed late last week with COVID-19.

“Dr. Lang, I want to ask you about the drive-by,” CNN host Ana Cabrera said. “Did the president needlessly put the Secret Service officers at risk for this photo-op?”

“Well, everything you do has risks and benefits. He wore a mask, the Secret Service agents who a mask, most likely N95 masks,” Lang responded. “By all of them wearing N95 masks, you couldn’t tell exactly from the pictures but that’s what you would expect to happen. That makes the risk actually very, very small.”

“Is there an increased risk? Maybe tiny,” Lang continued. “But they took measures to reduce the risk and that’s what it’s all about, is risk management, risk reduction.”

Cabrera then listed various details about the president’s supposed health status and proceeded to ask Lang at the very end if the president was “in the clear at this point.”

“Well, the fact is that he is the president of the United States. And, of course, they are going to throw everything at him to get him as well as they can as fast as they can. He has never been significantly symptomatic,” Lang responded. “One of the things that I find very interesting is when you talk to a patient who has any kind of respiratory illness, one of the first things you do is listen to them. You listen to the way they talk. When you listen to his tone, his ability to talk in complete sentences, how he sounded in the release just a few minutes ago, he sounded very strong.”

“So that gives you a very, very good indication that he does not have significant, active respiratory disease,” Lang added. “And throughout this, the only real complaint that the president has had has been the fever. Even when his oxygen saturation dropped below 94%, as Dr. Conley noted on Friday, which was the reason that they — one of the main reasons why they decided they wanted to bring him to Walter Reed to watch more carefully, and then, again yesterday, he was never symptomatic.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Joining us now CNN Political Correspondent Abby Phillip and former White House Physician William Lang.

Dr. Lang, I want to ask you about the drive-by. Did the president needlessly put the Secret Service officers at risk for this photo-op?

DR. WILLIAM LANG, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PHYSICIAN: Well, everything you do has risks and benefits. He wore a mask, the Secret Service agents who a mask, most likely N95 masks. By all of them wearing N95 masks, you couldn’t tell exactly from the pictures but that’s what you would expect to happen. That makes the risk actually very, very small.

Is there an increased risk? Maybe tiny. But they took measures to reduce the risk and that’s what it’s all about, is risk management, risk reduction.

CABRERA: You’ve got to also wonder about the president’s health and whether this was in his best interest. The president says in this video that it’s been an interesting journey, almost like it’s over. Doctor, based on what we learned from his medical team today about his oxygen saturation levels having dropped at least a couple of times below 94 percent saturation, and also the fact that he needed supplemental oxygen, that he had a high fever on Friday, the fact that he’s on some very serious treatments, including an experimental treatment that hasn’t even been cleared for emergency authorization use, the fact that he’s had remdesivir and continue those treatments.

He’s had two and we’re expecting a five-day treatment, according to his doctor. The fact that he’s now on this steroid that’s only given to the most severely ill, is the president in the clear at this point?

LANG: Well, the fact is that he is the president of the United States. And, of course, they are going to throw everything at him to get him as well as they can as fast as they can. He has never been significantly symptomatic.

One of the things that I find very interesting is when you talk to a patient who has any kind of respiratory illness, one of the first things you do is listen to them. You listen to the way they talk. When you listen to his tone, his ability to talk in complete sentences, how he sounded in the release just a few minutes ago, he sounded very strong.

So that tends to — that gives you a very, very good indication that he does not have significant, active respiratory disease. And throughout this, the only real complaint that the president has had has been the fever. Even when his oxygen saturation dropped below 94%, as Dr. Conley noted on Friday, which was the reason that they — one of the main reasons why they decided they wanted to bring him to Walter Reed to watch more carefully, and then, again yesterday, he was never symptomatic.

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