According to four people familiar with his diagnosis, President Donald J. Trump was sicker with Covid-19 in October than widely acknowledged at the time, with severely depressed levels of blood oxygen at one stage and a lung problem consistent with pneumonia caused by the coronavirus.
Before he was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, his prognosis became so worrisome that officials thought he would need to be placed on a ventilator, two of the people familiar with his situation said.
The persons familiar with the wellbeing of Mr. Trump said he was discovered to have lung infiltrates that arise while the lungs are inflamed and contain contaminants such as fluid or bacteria. Their appearance may be an indication of an acute case of the disease, especially when a patient experiences other symptoms. In an X-ray or scan, they can be quickly detected as portions of the lungs look blurry, or white.
According to the individuals familiar with his estimation, Mr. Trump's blood oxygen level alone was a cause for extreme alarm, falling into the 80s. When the blood oxygen content declines to the low 90s, the disease is called serious.
On Oct. 2, the day he was admitted to the hospital, Mr. Trump was confirmed to have trouble breathing and a fever, and the forms of medication he got suggested that his condition was critical. But the latest specifics of his diagnosis and the White House attempt to get him exclusive access to an unapproved medicine to combat the infection continue to fill out one of the most dire episodes of the presidency of Mr. Trump.
The latest disclosures about Mr. Trump's battle with the virus further illustrate the minimal and often deceptive existence of the information released about his health at the time.
The former president opposed being taken to Walter Reed from the White House, relenting after aides told him he should walk out by himself, or face waiting for the U.S. Two people familiar with the activities said that the Secret Service was forced to take him out if he got sicker.
Dr. Sean P. Conley, Mr. Trump's surgeon, repeatedly downplayed questions regarding the health of Mr. Trump during his illness. Dr. Conley said at one meeting that Mr. Trump was undergoing X-ray and CT scans. But when asked whether signs of pneumonia or tissue damage exists, he would only say that there were "expected results, but nothing of any major clinical concern."