In information vacuum, experts say Trump’s steroid treatment may hold clues to health status

But the combination of drugs physicians have administered to the president – in particular, the decision to use a steroid called dexamethasone – may offer insights into his status, experts said.

“They are doing things for him that would imply he has more severe disease than they are saying,” said Dr. Michael Niederman, a critical care physician at New York-Presbyterian who has not been involved in the president’s treatment.

Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s personal physician, said Saturday that the ailing commander in chief was supplied an experimental antibody cocktail and an FDA authorized antiviral treatment called remdesivir, which is available to hospitalized COVID-19 patients. On Sunday, Conley said a third drug had been added to the mix: the steroid dexamethasone.

Steroids

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Seven months in, the Trump administration is still relying on dubious information in its pandemic response

Those tests, produced by Abbott Laboratories, promise to yield results in a matter of minutes without the use of a machine to process samples. Such tests could be a significant advance in the effort to contain the coronavirus, allowing for the quick identification of new infections and therefore allowing those with infections to quickly isolate from other people. While Trump presented this as an evolution of the country’s massive testing effort, it does prompt an obvious question: Why is the United States so far behind countries such as South Korea, which had broadly available quick turnaround testing in March?

One could also ask why the administration was again announcing the rollout of something it announced in late August, but that’s another issue. To hear Vice President Pence tell it, the deployment of the tests — which will need to be evaluated more fully once implemented, given the administration’s overall spotty

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