Former US President Donald Trump’s condition with Covid-19 became so concerning last year that there was talk of putting him on a ventilator, according to what Trump told one person at the time, raising questions over whether the White House downplayed the seriousness of his situation.
The new details of what happened while Trump was hospitalized at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in October were first reported by The New York Times on Thursday. CNN reported at the time that Trump had received supplemental oxygen, citing a source with knowledge of Trump’s treatment.
The details invite new scrutiny over waffling remarks by Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, who last year refused to directly answer reporters’ questions about whether Trump was on oxygen, repeatedly emphasizing that he was not “right now.” When he was asked if Trump had received it at all, Conley said: “He has not needed any this morning, today at all.” Asked if he had ever been on supplemental oxygen as part of his treatment, Conley said: “Right now he is not,” adding, “Yesterday and today, he was not on oxygen.”
Here’s what else you need to know on Friday…
Q: With coronavirus variants here, should I still get the vaccine?
A: Absolutely, says CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen. The efficacy of vaccines against new variants will need to be continually studied, and it’s possible that as more mutations and variants emerge, we will need booster shots, or even an annual vaccine like the flu shot, which is updated every year.
But we simply don’t know when these booster shots might come out, Dr. Wen said. “It may be months, and the booster shots may require that you first have completed the vaccine series. If you have the opportunity to get the vaccine now, you should do so to protect yourself. Remember that the vaccines we have are still effective against the variants.” Read here for more information from Dr. Wen.
Fans banned from Australian Open after state records 13 Covid-19 cases: The Australian state of Victoria will lock down for five days in a bid to curb the spread of a more contagious coronavirus variant, meaning the Australian Open in Melbourne will go ahead without fans during what is usually its busiest few days.
Pfizer shot triggers strong immune response to new variants: A study has found that people who have received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine show strong immune responses to the Covid-19 variants first identified in the UK and South Africa.
WhatsApp and sermons: How some Britons are getting more Black people and other ethnic minority groups to take a vaccine: According to data from OpenSAFELY, Black people in the most vulnerable age group of over 80 were around half as likely to be vaccinated as their White counterparts in late January, even though Black people are disproportionately impacted by the virus, Christopher Johnson writes.
A version of this story appeared in the February 12 edition of CNN’s Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction newsletter. Sign up here to receive the need-to-know headlines every weekday.