Speed Reads

COVID in the White House

Trump's doctor invoked HIPAA to avoid talking about his lung scans. Trump could've waived it.

President Trump's doctor won't talk about his lung scans, and reporters think that can't be good.

On his fourth day in the hospital after his coronavirus diagnosis, Trump's oxygen levels dropped several times, though he was still expected to leave the hospital that evening, Trump's doctor Sean Conley said Monday. But when Conley was asked what CT scans of Trump's lungs revealed, he shut down, citing HIPAA privacy regulations.

HIPAA would prevent Conley from getting into detail about Trump's lung scans, but it also probably would've stopped him from disclosing Trump's oxygen levels , and that he determined Trump was not "entirely out of the woods yet." Trump was also completely at liberty to revoke those protections and let Conley fully inform the public about his condition. CBS News' Kathryn Watson guessed Trump's refusal to do so meant Trump's CT scans held bad news.

Conley also refused to disclose when Trump last tested negative for COVID-19, though he didn't mention privacy and instead claimed he "didn't want to go backwards" — something contact tracing relies on.