A White House official who fell ill with COVID-19 in September is recovering after three months in the hospital, though he lost his right foot and lower leg in his battle against the virus, according to a friend.
Crede Bailey, the director of the White House security office, was the most severely ill among dozens of COVID-19 cases known to be connected to the White House. Bailey’s family has asked the White House not to publicize his condition, and President Donald Trump has never publicly acknowledged his illness.
Bailey's friends have raised more than $30,000 for his rehabilitation through a GoFundMe account. The White House declined to say whether Trump has contributed to the effort.
"Crede beat COVID-19 but it came at a significant cost: his big toe on his left foot as well as his right foot and lower leg had to be amputated," Dawn McCrobie, who organized the GoFundMe effort for Bailey, wrote Dec. 7.
Bailey is now at a rehabilitation center and will be fitted for a prosthetic leg in the coming months, she wrote.
"His family has staggering medical bills from a hospital stay of 2+ months and still counting in the ICU and a long road ahead in rehab before he can go home," McCrobie wrote Nov. 13, when she created the account. "When he does make it home there will be major changes necessary to deal with his new, and permanent, disability."
Two people familiar with Bailey's situation confirmed that McCrobie is a friend. They asked not to be identified because Bailey's family has tried to keep his illness private.
McCrobie did not respond to messages and White House spokespeople declined to comment. Efforts to reach Bailey and multiple members of his family by phone, email and social media have been unsuccessful.
Bailey's office handles credentialing for access to the White House complex and works closely with the U.S. Secret Service on security measures. Bailey was known on the compound as a strong Trump supporter.
The president has repeatedly minimized the risk from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, both before and after he was hospitalized with the disease Oct. 2-5.
Doctors are still learning about the extent to which the coronavirus can damage the body, but loss of blood flow is one possible consequence. The virus is known to attack the vascular system and can cause deadly blood clots.
When she created the GoFundMe account, McCrobie wrote that "Crede will NOT be happy I've done this as he is a proud man who is the first to help everyone else but would never ask for help himself."
She updated the post Dec. 7 with more details about his condition. He "is blown away by your generosity," she said to donors.
"His house will need to be renovated to accommodate his disability; ramps to get in/out of the house, the bathroom shower will have to be modified, handrails will have to be installed, etc. etc.," she wrote.
He’ll also need a new vehicle that can accommodate a wheelchair and that can be modified so the gas pedal can be operated with Bailey’s left leg, she wrote. “I could go on and on but you get the picture - there are a lot of adjustments ahead!”