State of the Union host Jake Tapper began the discussion by arguing that “there is a long and ugly history” of doctors and health professionals helping presidents hide information about their health and asked Gupta to weigh in on Dr. Sean Conley’s behavior in recent days.
During a press conference on Sunday, contradicting his prior statements, Conley — who is head of Trump’s medical team — admitted that Trump experienced a drop in blood oxygen levels and that he was put on supplemental oxygen.
A day earlier, he repeatedly dodged questions, refusing to say whether the commander in chief ever needed to be put on oxygen, which created confusion.
“I have to say, they are hiding things,” Gupta charged, suggesting that Conley should not cave to pressure from administration and White House officials, but answer media questions truthfully and inform the public.
“Clearly he’s being told what to say and what not to say and how to present things. He should be saying, ‘Look, I want to brief people, I’m a professional but I need to be able to answer all the questions honestly.'”
“Or don’t do it at all. Because it’s very hard to trust or believe or make sense of everything that he’s saying because of that,” he said.
Gupta pointed out that Conley and others are under no obligation to share details about Trump’s health, but argued that they should be more transparent since they have chosen to speak with the press and inform the American people.
Gupta described the Trump team’s behavior in recent days as “ridiculous.”
“And it seems really, really juvenile, frankly, in the wake of such a serious situation to be behaving that way,” he added.
As New York Magazine reported, White House officials have been releasing conflicting information about Trump’s condition, publishing incomplete statements about the progression of his illness and offering various timelines for his coronavirus infection.
On Saturday, when Conley finished his press conference on an optimistic note, a source familiar with the situation told multiple media outlets that there were real concerns about Trump’s condition.
The source turned out to be White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who was recorded speaking to a group of reporters.
Conley’s Sunday revelation that Trump is being treated with dexamethasone only added to the confusion because the steroid is typically used to treat patients with severe disease.
Still, Conley said that Trump could be discharged from the hospital as soon as Monday.
So far, Trump has reportedly been treated with remdesivir, regeneronand and famotidine.