President Trump on Sunday greeted supporters outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center from his motorcade, leaving his hospital suite to make a “surprise” visit despite undergoing treatment for the Covid-19.
The president Sunday evening tweeted a video in which he said he planned to go say hello to the dozens of supporters who had gathered across the street from the hospital.
Moments later, a video emerged of the president’s motorcade passing by, with a masked Trump visible waving from the backseat.
The decision tr!ggered immediate safety concerns — and outr-age — as the president is infe-cted with a highly cont-agious v!rus that has k!lled more than 205,000 Americans.
Two Secret Service agents could be seen in the vehicle with him. Both were wearing masks. The pool of reporters that travels with the president whenever he moves from one location to another was not notified of Trump’s drive-by.
White House Correspondents’ Association President Zeke Miller said in a statement that it was “outr-ageous” for Trump to have left the hospital without a protective pool.” President Trump took a short, last-minute motorcade ride to wave to his supporters outside and has now returned to the Presidential Suite inside Walter Reed,” deputy White House press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.
Deere also said that “appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the President and all those supporting it, including PPE. The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.”He declined to say whether the president requested the motorcade if the president met with anyone in-person on Sunday and why the press pool was not notified.
Patients who test positive for COVID-19 are typically required to self-isolate for 10 days from the time symptoms appeared to avoid infe-cting others. The patients should also avoid interacting with others until they’ve gone 24 hours with no fe-ver without the use of fe-ver-reducing medications and have seen improvement in other symptoms.
Trump first publicized his positive test early Friday morning, and he has been symptomatic since then, meaning he is likely still conta-gious.”Why is a s!ck President riding in an SUV waving to supporters outside Walter Reed, jeopardizing the Secret Service agents inside the car with him?” presidential historian Michael Beschloss tweeted.James Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed, tweeted that the drive-by photo op was “insa-nity.”
“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days,” he tweeted. “They might get s!ck. They may d!e. For political theater. This is insa-nity.”But Trump appeared motivated to express his appreciation to supporters who have gathered across the street from Walter Reed.
Trump's irresponsibility is seemingly endless.
Making his Secret Service agents drive with a COVID-19 patient, with windows up no less, put them needlessly at risk for infection.
And for what? A PR stunt.
It's shameful. These agents already risk their lives daily. https://t.co/fyIcbJc6aR
— Zeke Emanuel (@ZekeEmanuel) October 4, 2020
The crowd has steadily grown over the last few days, with many waving Trump flags or carrying handmade signs.Reporters spotted one sign that referenced the QAnon consp!racy theory.In a 73-second video recorded at the hospital, Trump praised those outside the hospital as “great patriots.”The president added in the video that he has “learned a lot” abo-ut the v!rus while in the hospital.
My close-ups from Trump’s drive-by outside Walter Reed hospital. pic.twitter.com/sx1lALWIIU
— Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) October 4, 2020
“I learned about it by really going to school,” he said. “This isn’t the ‘let’s read the book’ school. And I get, and I understand it, and it’s a very interesting thing.”The novel Covid-19 that ca-uses COVID-19 has infe-cted more than 7 million Americans, by far the most reported cases of any country in the world.
Trump drives by the press and supporters outside Walter Reed hospital. pic.twitter.com/3phtKthqTH
— Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) October 4, 2020
Trump has been at Walter Reed since Friday when he was taken to the hospital after requiring supplemental oxygen.White House doctors and a!des have sent conf!icting signals about Trump’s health since revealing his positive test, concurrently telling reporters that he is feeling well and could be d!scharged while acknowledging he has been symptomatic and has seen his blood oxygen levels drop at least twice.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 4, 2020
Doctors announced Sunday that Trump is now on the stero!d dex-amethasone in response to the low oxygen levels. The president has also been given the antiviral drug remdesivir and an experimental ant!bo-dy therapy from Rege-neron.
This Article First Published On THEHILL