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Doctors in Congress weigh in on President Trump’s COVID-19 battle

Published: Oct. 3, 2020 at 3:52 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- As President Donald Trump battles COVID-19, lawmakers who are physicians are weighing in on his condition. There are 17 doctors on Capitol Hill, and Washington News Bureau Reporter Alana Austin checks in with two of them for their take. Both of these doctors have recovered from the virus themselves.

The president arrived at Walter Reed medical center in Maryland Friday, as a medical team closely monitors his condition. The commander-in-chief is taking experimental COVID-19 drugs Remdesivir and Regeneron, a cocktail intended to reduce the viral load for quicker recovery.

“Why they’re giving him the Regeneron, the antibodies, is you don’t want it to go to your heart or the lung so that you can’t breathe," explained Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). “That’s what you’re really concerned about,” Cassidy added.

Cassidy is a gastroenterologist who recovered from COVID this summer. He says the president’s health must be taken seriously.

“I’m speaking now as a physician. He’s older and he’s heavy. And both of those are major risk factors for having more complications," said Cassidy.

Florida GOP Congressman Neal Dunn – a surgeon – also overcame the virus earlier this year. After studying epidemiology for decades, he says the breakthroughs in treating this virus - and the ongoing development of a vaccine - are remarkable.

“The treatments are so much better now than they were just a month ago," said Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL).

Dunn – a big supporter of Trump – says he’s a fighter and optimistic about the President’s recovery..

“I wish I had half his energy," said Dunn. “I feel really comfortable that he’s going to get good, aggressive proactive treatment, and he’ll be back in the lists ready to fight again."

With the president sidelined – and several of his top allies also testing positive for the virus – this does put a damper on the campaign schedule. Election Day is in a month and early voting is already underway in many states.

At this point, Vice President Mike Pence has tested negative for COVID-19 and his debate against Democratic Senator Kamala Harris is still set to go on next week.

The president’s next debate against former Vice President Joe Biden is also still scheduled to go on at this point. That event is less than two weeks away in Miami.

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