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As Trump Seeks to Project Strength, Doctors Disclose Alarming Episodes

Alyssa Farah, a White House communications adviser, conceded that Dr. Conley had been speaking to an audience of one during his Saturday briefing. “When you’re treating a patient, you want to project confidence, you want to lift their spirits, and that was the intent,” she said. She said that Mr. Meadows was trying “to be as transparent as we can” be by amending the report later.

But Dr. Conley and other doctors were nonetheless optimistic on Sunday that Mr. Trump was doing better and could be sent back to convalesce at the White House perhaps on Monday. “If he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is to plan for a discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House, where he can continue his treatment course,” said Dr. Brian Garibaldi, another physician treating the president.

In addition to the steroids, Mr. Trump has received an experimental antibody cocktail and is in the midst of a five-day course of remdesivir, an antiviral drug. The White House has a medical unit capable of responding to a president’s health troubles but not with the sophisticated equipment available at Walter Reed.

Mr. Trump, who historically hates hospitals and anything related to illness, has been hankering to get released, according to two people close to him, and some aides expressed fear that he would pressure Dr. Conley into releasing him by claiming to feel better than he actually does. But advisers were also troubled by the doctors’ prediction that they might release him on Monday because if they do not, it would signal that the president is not doing as well as indicated. They also worried that a premature return could lead to a second trip to the hospital if his condition worsens.

Mr. Trump was said to be working from his hospital suite, including receiving a briefing via secure video conference from Robert C. O’Brien, his national security adviser, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The president has also been watching lots of television, even more than usual, and has been exasperated by coverage of Saturday’s calamitous handling of his medical information by Dr. Conley and Mr. Meadows, as well as speculation about whether he would transfer powers to Vice President Mike Pence.

He was also angry that no one was on television defending him, as he often is when he cannot inject his own views into news media coverage, aides said. As a result, Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal lawyer, was expected to appear on several television shows, as was Corey Lewandowski, who was Mr. Trump’s first campaign manager in the 2016 race.

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