On Friday, October 2, the people of the nation were shocked after President Donald Trump confirmed that he has tested positive for Covid-19. Since then, White House physician Sean Conley became an integral source of information on his health updates.
Standing outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where Trump was admitted, Conley assured reporters that Trump’s symptoms were improving. He said the president was “doing very well” and in “exceptionally good spirits” after spending Friday night at the hospital. But people found some loopholes in his statement when he made a reference to “72 hours into the diagnosis,” which made people think if Trump may have appeared at campaign events in person after he was exhibiting symptoms of the virus, according to a CBS News report.
When asked about the “72 hours”, Conley replied saying, “Thursday afternoon, following the news of close contact, is when we repeated testing.” He also added that they received “PCR confirmation” that he was positive for the virus on Thursday, October 1 evening. The PCR coronavirus test is a molecular test, and it is unclear whether Trump received a positive diagnosis from a rapid antigen test.
In the memo afterward, Conley made a statement saying that he had misspoken when he said the president was “72 hours into his diagnosis”. “This morning while summarizing the president’s health, I incorrectly used the term ‘seventy-two hours’ instead of ‘day three’ and ‘forty-eight hours’ instead of ‘day two’ with regards to his diagnosis and the administration of the polyclonal antibody therapy. The president was first diagnosed with Covid-19 on Thursday, October 1 and received Regeron’s antibody cocktail on Friday, October 2,” Conley said, misspelling Regeneron. The memo was not signed, as reported by CBS.
As soon as these statements came out on social media, people started reacting to the comments made by him. One user tweeted, “The President’s doctor said Trump’s diagnosis was 72 hours ago. That was Wednesday around 11.30 am, which makes Trump’s actions all the more alarming.” While another one pointed out, “Dr Conley said that we are “72 hours” into Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis. That would be some time Wednesday morning. Trump did not tweet that he was positive until Friday at 12.54 am.”
The President’s doctor said Trump’s diagnosis was 72 hours ago. That was Wednesday around 11:30a.m., which makes Trump’s actions all the more alarming.
— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) October 3, 2020
Dr. Conley said that we are “72 hours” into Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis. That would be some time Wednesday morning. Trump did not tweet that he was positive until Friday at 12:54am.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 3, 2020
And some had a lot of questions for Trump: “My maths has always been hopeless but Trump Dr says we are 72 hours into diagnosis. Trump tweeted at 6am yesterday — that’s er, 35 hours ago. When was he diagnosed? Why did he miss his test ahead of first debate?” and some called Trump “irresponsible” and said, “Think about how irresponsible President Trump is and his team as it relates to the welfare of others. He was diagnosed over 72 hours. This is the reckless behavior of a sociopath and his henchpeople. Get well and leave office soon.”
My maths has always been hopeless but Trump Dr says we are 72 hours into diagnosis.
Trump tweeted at 6am yesterday – that’s er, 35 hours ago.
When was he diagnosed?
Why did he miss his test ahead of first debate?
— Kay Burley (@KayBurley) October 3, 2020
Think about how irresponsible President Trump is and his team as it relates to the welfare of others. He was diagnosed over 72 hours. This is the reckless behavior of a sociopath and his henchpeople. Get well and leave office soon.
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) October 3, 2020
Who is Sean Conley?
Conley has worked with the US Navy and has been Trump’s physician since 2018. According to a New York Times report, Conley took the role in 2018 after Dr Ronny L Jackson was nominated to be secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr Jackson had to withdraw his name from consideration for that post amid accusations of inappropriate workplace behavior and was subsequently promoted by Trump to the position of assistant to the president and chief White House medical adviser. He is now running for a House seat in Texas. On March 2018, Dr Conley was named acting White House physician, and he was formally appointed to the position by Trump in May, 2018.
According to records from the Virginia Board of Medicine, which were obtained by the New York Times, he has completed his graduation from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2006. He has also received a bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Notre Dame. He has served as an emergency doctor for the US Navy since 2006. A native of Pennsylvania, Dr Conley completed his residency at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, in 2013. After his residency, Dr Conley served as chief of trauma for the NATO Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit in Afghanistan. He served as director of the medical center’s Combat Trauma Research Group for a little over two years.