|Physician to the President|
March 28, 2018 – January 25, 2021
Acting: March 28, 2018 – May 4, 2018
|Preceded by||Ronny Jackson|
|Succeeded by||Kevin O'Connor|
Sean Patrick Conley
1980 (age 40–41)
Doylestown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Education||University of Notre Dame (BS)|
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
|Branch/service||United States Navy|
|Battles/wars||War in Afghanistan|
|Awards||Romanian Emblem of Honour|
Sean Patrick Conley (born 1980) is an American physician and United States Navy officer who served as the Physician to the President from 2018 to 2021. Conley served as physician to president Donald Trump during the COVID-19 pandemic, often serving as the president's medical advisor, and treating the president.
He drew scrutiny regarding his public assessments of Trump's health during the president's hospitalization.
Conley received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2006. He is a 2013 graduate of the Emergency Medicine Residency Program of Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Portsmouth, Virginia. He received the Honor Graduate Award, Nurses' Choice Award for Outstanding Senior Resident Award, and the Resident Research Award.
In 2014, he served as an emergency physician with the International Security Assistance Force at Kandahar International Airport outside the city of Kandahar, Afghanistan. He was assigned to NATO Role 3 MMU, and was appointed head of the trauma department. The unit received a commendation from the Romanian Land Forces for saving the life of a Romanian soldier injured by an improvised explosive device in 2014. He served as the research director at Portsmouth Navy Department of Emergency Medicine prior to his assignment to the White House Medical Unit.
This section contains too many or overly lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. (October 2020)
Conley became the physician to the president upon the nomination of the previous physician, Ronny Jackson, for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He became the acting White House physician on March 28, 2018 and on May 4, 2018 became the physician to the president.
On May 18, 2020, President Donald Trump surprised listeners when he revealed he was taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure against COVID-19. He confirmed that he was taking it under the guidance of Conley, who later issued a confirmation. Several medical warnings had been issued on its use for treating COVID-19 and scant research for its use in its prevention.
In the early morning of October 2, 2020, the White House announced that President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19 after they were tested as a precaution when Trump's top aide, Hope Hicks, tested positive herself. At first, Trump began self-isolating in the White House, but under the recommendation of Conley, he was transferred to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. In contradiction to Conley's previous statements surrounding hydroxychloroquine, he released a statement to White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany that he had decided to place Trump under an antiviral therapy, specifically remdesivir. Conley described Trump's symptoms on the day of the announcement as "fatigued but in good spirits". Conley incorrectly identified a Regeneron product of monoclonal antibodies as a polyclonal antibody cocktail in a press release. Later, he updated Trump's symptoms as "nasal congestion and a cough and fatigue." With regard to the first lady, Conley described her as "well with only a mild cough and headache."
On the morning of October 3, Conley gave a press briefing regarding Trump's health, stating that he and his team of physicians were "extremely happy" with the president's condition, and noting that most of the president's symptoms had subsided. However, Conley stated that Trump was "72 hours into this diagnosis" which implied that Trump had attended a rally in Minnesota, knowing he was a potential COVID-19 vector at the time. The 72 hour remark was quickly corrected by a press release indicating that the president was diagnosed the evening of October 1.
On the evening of October 3, Conley warned that Trump was "not yet out of the woods" with regard to his condition.
In an October 4 press conference, Trump's medical team said that he was "doing really well" after his oxygen level dipped the day before and after he was given the steroid dexamethasone, which works by reducing inflammation in the lungs. Asked if CT scans showed pneumonia or lung damage, Conley said, "There's some expected findings, but nothing of any major clinical concern." He declined to say what was found, citing HIPAA guidelines that ensure patient privacy. When asked why he was reluctant to disclose that Trump had been given oxygen during the October 3 briefing, Conley stated that he did not want to "give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction" and "it came off that we're trying to hide something, which wasn't necessarily true." White House director of strategic communications Alyssa Farah later stated that it was "a common medical practice that you want to convey confidence, and you want to raise the spirits of the person you're treating," while also asserting that Meadows' anonymous statement to reporters was intended to "give you guys more information just to try to be as transparent as we can".
At 2:37 p.m. EDT on October 5, Trump tweeted that he would be discharged from the hospital at 6:30 p.m. that day. However, doctors said in an afternoon news briefing that Trump continued to be treated with dexamethasone and remdesivir. The prospect of Trump's early release astonished infectious-disease experts, who noted that Trump planned to be discharged in a period when COVID-19 patients are particularly vulnerable (7–10 days after symptoms first appear) to unpredictable and rapid declines in condition. Outside physicians stated that the depiction of Trump's illness as relatively mild was inconsistent with the aggressive treatment he was receiving. Trump's medical team made cryptic remarks about his status and declined to say whether Trump's CT scans contained indications of pneumonia or lung damage.
In the White House, Trump continued to receive dexamethasone and remdesivir. He conducted business without wearing a mask. Conley said in a memo that Trump has "no symptoms" and is doing "extremely well." That optimistic message was later called into question. According to the Associated Press, "then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said at the time that Trump’s condition was worse than Conley had let on".
Newly inaugurated president Joe Biden announced on January 25, 2021 that he would appoint Dr. Kevin O'Connor as the White House physician. According to a CNN report, "Conley was seen departing the White House alongside Trump" on January 20, 2021. The AP reported that Conley would be taking on a "teaching role" at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
Conley generated controversy in the fall when he admitted to offering rosy descriptions of Trump's condition because the White House wanted to project optimism.
| Physician to the President
Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2021-06-13 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=57278702