Trump Briefly Leaves Hospital for Drive-by Photo Op With Supporters
On Sunday, the president tweeted a video from Walter Reed medical center informing his supporters he would “pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots we have out on the street” outside the facility. In the segment, Trump also claims that he “learned a lot about COVID” and that “I get it, I understand it, and it’s a very interesting thing and I’m going to be letting you know about it.”
Minutes after the video went up, news outlets began showing clips of the COVID-positive POTUS in an SUV with Secret Service members in extremely close quarters:
Per CDC recommendations the secret service agents driving these cars should immediately self-isolate for two weeks https://t.co/yMTLDdPo2Z
— Jake Anbinder (@JakeAnbinder) October 4, 2020
Because futures start trading at 6pm East Coast time. https://t.co/ymuM8szaSt
— Kai Ryssdal (@kairyssdal) October 4, 2020
Judging from his comments in the announcement, the president does not understand what a surprise is and still does not understand the very basics of a pandemic that spreads through close contact with the infected.
“He is not sending the right message of going in a car while actively viremic with COVID and receiving therapies,” Dr. Amita Gupta, an infectious disease expert and the deputy director of Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Clinical Global Health Education, told Intelligencer. “We have been very strict with keeping all patients within their room in negative pressure isolation and limiting the number of health care workers interacting with patients with active infection.” While Gupta noted that wearing PPE and an N-95 with mask in the presence of a COVID-positive patient is an effective way to prevent virus transmission, she added that “showing the country and the world that it is okay to be leaving the hospital even for a short drive is just not a message that should be sent. We would not allow any of our hospitalized patients in the first seven days of their illness to move about unless they were being transferred to another medical institution. Nothing about this is a normal situation.”
While Trump will inevitably need an escort back to the White House after he is discharged, exposing Secret Service members for an unnecessary car-side pep rally reveals that his own experience as a coronavirus patient has not watered down the negligence he has displayed all year. According to new reporting from The Wall Street Journal, Trump knew he had tested positive before calling in to Fox News on Thursday night, when he said he was still waiting on results. “Don’t tell anyone,” Trump reportedly told an adviser that day, as the virus began to spread among his inner circle.