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Letters to the Editor: Send Trump back to the hospital, say doctors — and take away the nuclear codes

Dr. Sean Conley
Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Trump, briefs reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Oct. 3.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: President Trump’s “cagey doctors” have an attitude problem that has permeated our government over the last three and a half years. What would happen if this arrogance was turned back on these physicians if the president had a sudden relapse? (“The president’s COVID-19 cover-up continues,” editorial, Oct. 6)

The stage is set for the deadly inflammatory phase that is still possible in the next week. The use of the steroid dexamethasone when it is not essential can have unintended consequences: activation of other viral and bacterial infections, demineralization of bone and, curiously, promoting abnormal behavior, including psychosis. Remdesivir is also not an innocuous drug.

The president appeared to respond quickly to the treatment rendered. Caution is still the order of the day as he is not quite out of danger.

That President Trump is now back in the White House requires continued standards of quarantine. His physicians should make that crystal clear.

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Jerome P. Helman, MD, Venice

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To the editor: Trump is being treated with systemic corticosteroids and is therefore unfit in my opinion to govern and retain the power to order a nuclear attack.

Steroids can induce significant psychological side effects that include mania, psychotic or mixed affective states, cognitive deficits and minor psychiatric disturbances such as irritability, anxiety and euphoria. They can impair judgment.

Trump’s reckless joy ride in a sport utility vehicle outside the hospital this weekend illustrated poor judgement that may have been caused by the medications he is receiving. The prudent thing for him to do is transfer his powers to Vice President Mike Pence while the steroids are affecting him.

Itzhak Brook, MD, Washington

The writer is a professor of pediatric medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine.

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To the editor: Trump left the hospital while he was quarantined. This type of action is reckless and irresponsible. By doing so, he had exposed his entourage to the virus, even if they were using protective equipment.

Furthermore, his physicians broke protocol by allowing a highly contagious patient to leave the hospital.

In a condition like this, we physicians typically demand that patients sign an affidavit stating they are leaving the premises against medical advice. This emphasizes the risk to the patient and relieves us of responsibility.

A hospital could lose its accreditation for violating such a sacred tenet of medical practice.

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David S. Cantor, MD, Los Angeles


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