SAN FRANCISCO - The image of Marine One landing on the White House South Lawn transporting President Donald Trump to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is now seared onto the national consciousness.
Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at University of California San Francisco, says the fact the president was rushed to Walter Reed indicates just how serious the situation is, and that coronavirus patients can take a turn for the worse quickly.
"We don't know what the situation is with President Trump," said Dr. Chin-Hong. "But even if he's not at that level yet, he's being observed because he can go like that. Again older, obese, you'd worry about those factors."
The doctor saying even with the White House Medical Unit on premises, given the president's age, weight and overall medical condition, it's prudent to move him to a medical facility with access to oxygen and a wider range of medical staff and equipment.
"The president can get lots of things in the White House, said Dr. Chin-Hong. "You know, monoclonal antibody, he can get medicines administered there. So, the difference between there and a hospital and home is actually more dramatic for the president than the rest of us."
Over the course of the day we've learned more about the president's treatment regimen, including the use of the non -Food and Drug Administration approved medication, Regeneron's polyclonal antibody cocktail, essentially a mix of anti-bodies aimed at getting the president's immune system to fight off COVID-19.
"They take one of the elite antibodies, the fighting cells that they know is going to work and they just make more of it in the biotech company, and then they infuse that back into the patient," said Dr. Chin-Hong. "It's like giving the best of the best in a very standardized way."
The experimental treatment, still unproved when it comes to effectiveness and safety.
Medical experts say the president is able to take advantage of a course of medical treatment not available to most Americans.
"The fact that he's receiving it outside of a medical trial again indicates that it's a bit outside of the normal system. I mean, you or I couldn't get access to this medication," said Dr. Chin-Hong.
The White House says the president also taking a host of other medications, including zinc, vitamin D, melatonin, a daily aspirin and famotidine, the generic version of heartburn medication Pepcid.