Sean Conley has been the president’s doctor since 2018, and he’s already received some criticism about his decisions. In May, he prescribed a two-week course of hydroxychloroquine, the effectiveness of which has not been proven for the coronavirus.
For the second day in a row, the navy commander in charge of President Donald Trump’s care left the world wondering: What is the severity level of the president?
The doctor. Sean Conley He is trained in emergency medicine, not infectious diseases, but has a long list of specialists who help determine Trump’s treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Conley said Sunday that Trump was doing so well that he could be sent back to the White House in another day, even when he announced that the president received a steroid drug. It is only recommended for the very sick.
Worse still, steroids like dexamethasone depress important immune cells, raising concerns about whether the choice of treatment could hamper the president’s body’s ability to fight the virus.
Then there’s the question of public trust: Conley acknowledged that he had tried to present an optimistic description of the condition of the president in his first briefing of the weekend “and in doing so, it seemed as if we were trying to hide something, something that was not necessarily true.”
In fact, on Saturday, Conley refused to answer directly whether the president had been administered any form of oxygen, only to admit the next day that he had ordered oxygen for Trump on Friday morning.
It is puzzling even to outside specialists.
“It’s a little unusual to have to guess what really happens because the clinical descriptions are so vague,” said Dr. Steven Shapiro, chief medical and scientific officer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. With the news of steroids, “There is a bit of a disconnect.”
Conley has been Trump’s doctor since 2018, and He has already received some criticism about his decisions. In May, Conley prescribed Trump a two-week course of hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug, to protect himself from the coronavirus, after two White House employees tested positive. Rigorous studies made it clear that hydroxychloroquine, long championed by Trump, is neither treating nor preventing COVID-19.
This time, Conley is exposed to an even greater test, trying to balance the information across an audience that needs honesty about the president’s condition, with a patient who doesn’t like to appear vulnerable.
Dr. Stephen Xenakis, a psychiatrist who retired from the Army Medical Corps as a Brigadier General, said Conley would be forced to follow Trump’s wishes, regarding what information about your condition is publicly disclosed, as is the case in any doctor-patient relationship.
But Conley, as a military medical officer, is required to adhere to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, that prohibits lying, He said.
Several current and former military officials declined to comment on the record, directing all questions to the White House. But several said they were concerned that Conley’s efforts to achieve a more optimistic characterization the current state of health of the president are raising flags within the army about his credibility and the reputation of the army’s medical team. They said his acceptance that he tried to give an optimistic description of Trump’s condition could lead the public to question future information that he or the other doctors provide.
They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal conversations or because they are not part of the president’s medical team and therefore do not have details about their condition.
According to Virginia medical tuition records, Conley graduated from Philadelphia Osteopathic School of Medicine in 2006. Instead of having a medical degree, Conley is a DO, or doctor of osteopathic medicine, a fully licensed physician, but who, according to the American Osteopathic Association, focuses on treating the “whole person” holistically.
Conley did a residency in emergency medicine at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, and served in a NATO trauma hospital at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.