After one of President Trump's doctors suggested he could be discharged from Walter Reed hospital as soon as Monday and continue his COVID-19 treatment at the White House, several observers were left scratching their heads.
For starters, CBS News' Margaret Brennan pointed out that teasing a swift discharge sets expectations high, and, if it doesn't turn out to be the case, there will likely be an increase in questions about the severity of the president's illness, which is already unclear.
I don't see why the expectation has now been set for the President to be discharged tomorrow. If he is not discharged, that will now raise further questions. A short term positive headline now becomes a benchmark.... https://t.co/xtYR3j9DDH
— Margaret Brennan (@margbrennan) October 4, 2020
But it's not just about the potential optics. The medical information that has made its way to the public appears to be concerning, especially in light of the revelation that Trump is being treated with dexamethasone, a steroid the World Health Organization recommends for "severe and critical" coronavirus cases. The New York Times' Maggie Haberman notes that it's possible Trump's treatment has been aggressive because he's the president of the United States, but COVID-19 has a reputation for being unpredictable and volatile, which makes day-to-day forecasts challenging in any situation.
Also - this is a virus that bounces around in terms of good days and bad days till its conclusion, like other viruses, as Conley acknowledged. Unclear what factors they’re using for possible discharge.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) October 4, 2020