Questions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight

The White House and President TrumpDonald John TrumpJaime Harrison debates Graham behind plexiglass shield Doctors, White House staff offer conflicting messages on president’s health Trump given second dose of Remdesivir ‘without complication’, ‘not yet out of the woods’, Conley says MORE‘s doctors sought Sunday to project a positive message about the president’s battle against COVID-19 even as contradictory statements and limited information left a number of unanswered questions about his condition.

The team of doctors caring for President Trump on Sunday said he could return to the White House as soon as Monday while at the same time disclosing he had been on supplemental oxygen and that he was receiving a drug normally given to seriously ill patients.

And Trump himself sparked concern – and outrage – when he left his hospital room at Walter Reed Military Medical Center to wave to the supporters gathered outside from the back seat of an SUV.

White House physician Sean Conley said Sunday that Trump has experienced two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen levels since he was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus late Thursday evening and that he had received supplemental oxygen at least once. 

The doctors also said Trump was given a steroid called dexamethasone that is generally given to people seriously ill with COVID-19, which has killed nearly 210,000 people in the U.S.


The White House physician admitted that officials had been intentionally vague a day earlier when pointedly asked when Trump had been administered supplemental oxygen in an attempt to be “upbeat” about the president’s prognosis.

“I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, over his course of illness has had. I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction, and in doing so, came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true,” he told reporters in a Sunday morning news conference outside Walter Reed Medical Center, where Trump has been since Friday.

White House communications director Alyssa Farah after the medical briefing echoed that sentiment.

“The other point I would make, which is what [Conley] alluded to, is when you’re treating a patient, you want to project confidence. You want to lift their spirits, and that was the intent,” she said.

Even as he disclosed more on Sunday, Conley avoided answering questions about what X-rays and CT scans had revealed and whether Trump’s lungs had been damaged.

Asked whether Trump is being held in a negative pressure room, Conley declined to “get into the specifics of his care.”

Conley also said that he didn’t know whether Trump had received another dose of supplemental oxygen on Saturday, the second time he experienced a drop in his oxygen level, adding that he would need to check with the president’s nurses.

Trump himself appeared in a video later Sunday, promising a “surprise visit” to supporters gathered outside the hospital and saying that he had “learned a lot” about COVID-19 since his

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Garden City country club casts aside Plantation name

The Plantation Country Club in Garden City has cast aside its only link to slavery and is now known as The River Club.

“Looking to the future of this great club and what it means to members and the community, the element we kept coming back to was the river,” Will Gustafson, CEO of owner Glass Creek LLC, said in a news release Thursday. “The Boise River is the lifeblood for this community. It was obvious that our club’s future had to pay respect to the river.”

The club announced in June, amid nationwide protests of police violence against Black people, that it was seeking a new name. In the U.S., the word plantation is associated with large farms built in the past on the backs of slave labor.

In August, the Cathedral of the Rockies in Boise removed a stained glass window installed in 1960 that contained the image of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Church documents showed the window, featuring Lee standing with Presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, was meant as an “inclusive nod to Southerners who have settled in Boise.”

Glass Creek, which bought the country club in 2018, planned to unveil a new name after a redesign of the course and other improvements were completed in a few years. However, Gustafson said the events of 2020 brought an increased focus on ensuring the club matched modern-day values.

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Provided by The River Club

“We felt from the very beginning that ‘Plantation Country Club’ did not reflect the vision we had for the club’s future: a fresh, modern, inclusive, and welcoming club for all members of the community,” he said. “This year brought a sharp focus on just how imperative it was for our club to not be attached to that dark piece of America’s history, and we knew we couldn’t wait any longer.”

The course, the oldest in Southern Idaho, opened July 18, 1917 as the Boise Country Club. Fourteen years later, the name was changed to the Plantation Country Club.

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Reporter John Sowell has worked for the Statesman since 2013. He covers business and growth issues. He grew up in Emmett and graduated from the University of Oregon.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.

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Vegan Kitchen: A decade on, Melanie Joy’s book on carnism still casts a big shadow

Bestselling author and Harvard-trained psychologist Melanie Joy says the 10 years following the publication of her provocative book “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism” have brought significant changes in how humans think about animals.

What she doesn’t say, but I will, is that Joy’s groundbreaking book played a pivotal role in causing ideas to shift.

Last month, publisher Red Wheel released an anniversary edition. The updated book includes a new forward, a new afterword, and other updates.

Yet the overall message has stayed the same: Carnism is an invisible belief system that protects and enshrines a series of cultural myths allowing us to think eating particular animals is normal, natural and necessary while eating others is abnormal, disgusting and wrong. Like other violent ideologies, carnism is illogical and works best when nobody talks about it.

Joy, who named the belief system carnism long before she penned the book, writes: “The first step in deconstructing eating animals, then, is deconstructing the invisibility of the system.”

Psychologist and author Melanie Joy. An anniversary edition of her best-selling book on carnism was released in August. Photo courtesy of Beyond Carnism

To do so, Joy has traveled to more than 50 countries to speak about the book since its original publication. In 2011, she spoke at the Portland Public Library. In 2013, she was given the Ahimsa Award by the Institute of Jainology, based in India and England. It’s an honor shared by a small group who include Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.

“Why We Love Dogs” continues to influence current thinking. In December, Vox put “Why We Love Dogs” at the top of its list of “19 books from the 2010s we can’t stop thinking about.” In January, Joy talked with The Washington Post about “Why that vegan meal at the Golden Globes set off so many critics.” And this summer one of three winning essays (out of 1,242 submissions) in The New York Times’ annual Student Editorial Contest was headlined “Bringing Ethics to Your Plate” and cited the book in its second paragraph.

I was able to connect with Joy at her home in Berlin, Germany, via Zoom and she agreed that “since 2010, when the first edition was published, the awareness of what an atrocity animal agriculture is has really grown.”

She points to a number of factors raising people’s consciousness, including the increased availability of vegan food and the impossible-to-ignore body of scientific research that has accumulated during the decade linking an animal-based diet with climate change and a plant-based diet with disease prevention and reversal. Joy said this year the COVID-19 pandemic has further opened eyes to the consequences of animal confinement systems and their role in spreading zoonotic disease.

“In the past few months, more people have become aware that animal agriculture and wet markets are leading drivers of pandemics,’ Joy said. “This combination of more awareness and easier access to more vegan options has made more people increasingly uncomfortable,

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