US President Trump waves from the again of a automotive exterior of Walter Reed Medical Heart in Bethesda, Maryland on Ocotber four, 2020.
Alex Edelman | AFP | Getty Pictures
LONDON — President Donald Trump on Sunday briefly ventured exterior Walter Reed hospital in a motorcade to greet cheering supporters, a transfer that medical doctors have condemned for flagrantly disregarding precautions designed to comprise the unfold of the coronavirus.
Trump, 74, has launched a sequence of movies over the weekend to attempt to reassure voters that he’s recovering after testing optimistic for Covid-19.
“It has been a really attention-grabbing journey. I’ve discovered lots about Covid,” Trump mentioned in a video posted through Twitter on Sunday. The president additionally steered he would “pay a bit shock to a number of the nice patriots that we’ve out on the road.”
Shortly thereafter, the presidential motorcade drove by the perimeter of the Walter Reed Nationwide Medical Heart, with Trump seen by the window of an SUV carrying a face overlaying and waving to supporters.
Trump has repeatedly downplayed the specter of the pandemic, criticizing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as not too long ago as final week for carrying a protecting masks, even because the virus has contaminated hundreds of thousands of individuals and resulted within the deaths of greater than 200,000 People.
“Each single individual within the car throughout that utterly pointless Presidential ‘drive-by’ simply now must be quarantined for 14 days. They could get sick. They could die. For political theater,” James Phillips, physician of emergency drugs at George Washington College, and an attending doctor at Walter Reed hospital, mentioned through Twitter on Sunday.
“Commanded by Trump to place their lives in danger for theater. That is madness,” he mentioned.
In a second tweet, Phillips added the danger of Covid-19 transmission contained in the automotive was “as excessive because it will get exterior of medical procedures,” saying the presidential SUV was not solely bullet proof however hermetically sealed towards chemical assault.
“The irresponsibility is astounding. My ideas are with the Secret Service pressured to play,” Phillips mentioned.
In response to the criticism, White Home spokesman Judd Deere instructed the Related Press that Trump’s journey exterior the hospital “was cleared by the medical workforce as protected to do.”
Deere added precautions had been taken, together with using private protecting tools, to guard the president, White Home officers and Secret Service brokers.
The president’s medical doctors have mentioned Trump’s well being has been bettering, even touting a doable return to the White Home as quickly as Monday.
Nevertheless, the White Home medical workforce has additionally reported the president’s blood oxygen stage had twice dropped abruptly in latest days, and he’s being handled with a steroid sometimes really helpful for extreme Covid-19 instances.
Supporters of the US president maintain US and Trump 2020 flags as they rally exterior of Walter Reed Medical Heart in Bethesda, Maryland on October four, 2020, the place the president is being handled for Covid-19. (Picture by Alex Edelman / AFP) (Picture by )
ALEX EDELMAN | AFP through Getty Pictures
First girl Melania Trump, 50, who has additionally examined optimistic for the coronavirus, wouldn’t go away the White Home to go to her husband on the hospital, NBC Information reported on Monday, citing a White Home official.
The official mentioned the primary girl would keep on the residence to keep away from exposing Secret Service brokers that may drive her to Walter Reed hospital and the medical employees who would stroll her as much as the president.
“I am not that involved concerning the pleasure journey when it comes to his personal well being. If he actually was secure in the present day, which, by all accounts he was, his oxygen ranges had been OK, then the truth that he is out and about for 10 minutes is just not an enormous deal,” Robert Wachter, the chair of the division of drugs on the College of California, instructed CNBC’s “Squawk Field Europe” on Monday.
“What I’m involved about is that he sits in a hermetically sealed Secret Service van … together with, I feel, eight or 9 Secret Service brokers whereas he is actively infectious. The Secret Service brokers take a vow to guard him, however they do not take a vow to be protected against him and I feel he’s placing them at completely pointless danger,” Wachter mentioned.
“By taking a pleasure journey exterior Walter Reed the president is inserting his Secret Service element at grave danger,” Jonathan Reiner, professor of drugs and surgical procedure at George Washington College faculty of drugs and well being providers, mentioned through Twitter on Sunday.
“Within the hospital once we go into shut contact with a COVID affected person we gown in full PPE: Robe, gloves, N95, eye safety, hat. That is the peak of irresponsibility,” Reiner mentioned.
For Michael Baker, an epidemiologist on the College of Otago in Wellington, New Zealand, Trump’s tour “seems reckless from each a medical and public well being perspective,” he instructed CNBC through e mail. “A affected person who’s sick sufficient to be admitted to hospital and handled with robust drugs like dexamethasone shouldn’t be leaving hospital for a non-essential drive previous to their discharge.”
White Home doctor Dr. Sean Conley mentioned over the weekend that Trump’s medical workforce had begun treating the president with dexamethasone, a steroid that has proven promise for critically in poor health sufferers however might trigger hurt to these with much less extreme instances of Covid-19.
“Touring in a automotive with a number of employees members whereas nonetheless in isolation additionally poses a danger of infecting these different uncovered passengers. There was no apparent justification for this motion,” Baker mentioned.
Thus far, the U.S. has recorded greater than 7.four million instances of the coronavirus, with 209,725 associated deaths, based on information compiled by Johns Hopkins College.