There was no missing the message when a phalanx of white-coated doctors and nurses stood in the bright sunshine outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for a briefing on President Trump’s health Saturday, and White House physician Sean P. Conley ticked off 13 names on the president’s medical team.
Trump’s caregivers are sparing nothing in their attempt to treat his coronavirus infection.
From his team of providers to his helicopter flight to the hospital to the experimental drug that fewer than 10 others have received outside a clinical trial, Trump has access to care available to few of the other 7.3 million people in the United States infected so far by the coronavirus. Even with symptoms that Conley appeared to describe as moderate at worst, the 74-year-old president is the VIP of VIPs in his battle against covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
“I think about it as a realist,” said Robert Wachter, professor and chair of the department of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. “He is the president of the United States. For him to get the most vigorous therapies . . . even if we have not yet reached the point where there is enough evidence to make it available to everyone in the country, doesn’t seem off to me.”
“I think access to treatment and frequent monitoring is probably a good thing for evolving medical care of a new disease,” added John W. Mellors, chief of infectious diseases at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
VIP treatment is a feature of American medicine. Major hospitals throughout the country have private spaces for celebrities, the super-rich and the influential, patients who want to be shielded from the public and just may make a large donation if they are happy with their care. They are U.S. citizens and foreign nationals from places including Saudi Arabia, China, Canada and Mexico.
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