With President Trump still in hospital at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after a positive coronavirus test, one doctor is at the center of his treatment: Sean P. Conley, the White House doctor.
When Dr. Conley stepped out of the hospital on Saturday with a team of doctors behind him, giving an optimistic update on Mr. Trump’s condition at a press conference. He said the president was “doing very well” and “exceptionally cheerful” after spending Friday night in the hospital.
The press conference presented Dr. Conley at the center, who offered a significantly different view than Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, later told reporters.
Two years ago he became the President’s doctor
Dr. Conley took over the White House doctor role in 2018 after Dr. Ronny L. Jackson had been appointed Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Jackson was forced to withdraw his name from the exam for the post on allegations of improper workplace behavior and was subsequently promoted to Assistant to the President and Chief Medical Officer of the White House by Mr. Trump. He is now running for a seat in the Texas House of Representatives.
In March 2018, Dr. Conley was named Acting Doctor of the White House and formally appointed to the position by Mr. Trump in May 2018.
He specializes in osteopathic medicine
Dr. Conley graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2006, according to Virginia Board of Medicine records. Osteopathic medicine doctors tend to emphasize community medicine and preventive care, take a more holistic approach to medicine, and rely heavily on physical diagnosis compared to traditional doctors of medicine.
Dr. Conley, who received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Notre Dame, has been an ambulance doctor for the US Navy since 2006.
Pennsylvania native Dr. Conley completed his residency at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia in 2013. After his residency, Dr. Conley served as Chief of Trauma for NATO’s Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit in Afghanistan.
He was director of the medical center’s Combat Trauma Research Group for a little over two years.
He supported Mr. Trump’s use of hydroxychloroquine
In May, Dr. Conley caught his eye after announcing that Mr. Trump had started taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, under his care.
Many experts have questioned the drug’s effectiveness in treating, preventing, or curing Covid-19, despite claims made by Mr Trump.
The Food and Drug Administration warned in April that it should only be used in clinical trials or in hospitals. The agency also said the drug could cause dangerous arrhythmias.
In a letter in May about Mr Trump’s use of hydroxychloroquine, Dr. Conley, he, and the President had “found that the potential benefits of treatment outweigh the relative risks.”
At the press conference on Saturday, Dr. Conley reporters that Mr. Trump was not taking hydroxychloroquine.
“We talked about it,” said Dr. Conley. “He asked about it. He’s not there now. “