"We're going to pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots that we have out on the street," said Trump before his drive.
On Sunday evening, President Donald Trump, who had been seeking treatment at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for Coronavirus is said to have stepped out of the facility briefly to wave to supporters gathered outside, reports NPR. Trump, (FINALLY) wearing a black mask, waved to the people gathered around from a black SUV. Right before the drive-by, the president tweeted a video in which he thanked the doctors and staff at Walter Reed for treating him for COVID-19 and said he was about to "make a little surprise visit" outside to greet supporters.
That’s Trump driving by his supporters outside Walter Reed military hospital. pic.twitter.com/eqA0RGkr6A— Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) October 4, 2020
"We're going to pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots that we have out on the street, and they've been out there for a long time and they've got Trump flags and they love our country," Trump said. In the video, Trump talks about his experience with the coronavirus, saying it has been "a very interesting journey." "I learned a lot about COVID. I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. This isn't the, 'let's read the book' school," he said. Trump has reportedly been briefed about the pandemic by members of his White House coronavirus task force and other advisers extensively.
"I get it, and I understand it, and it's a very interesting thing I'm going to be letting you know about it," Trump said. He also took the opportunity to thank the doctors and nurses for their help and support. However, a few experts on the matter believe that Trump's drive-by is as reckless as it can get. Dr. James Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University, took to Twitter to share his thoughts. That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack. The risk of COVID19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play.
Trump drives by the press and supporters outside Walter Reed hospital. pic.twitter.com/3phtKthqTH— Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) October 4, 2020
White House spokesman Judd Deere retaliated by saying that the drive-by was approved by Trump's medical team. "Appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the president and all those supporting it, including PPE," he said in a statement. Trump usually never goes anywhere without a press pool, but they weren't informed about his latest stint. "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," Deere said in a separate statement after the trip.
"It is outrageous for the president to have left the hospital — even briefly — amid a health crisis without a protective pool present to ensure that the American people know where their president is and how he is doing," the White House Correspondents' Association said in a statement. "Now more than ever, the American public deserves independent coverage of the president so they can be reliably informed about his health." His brief drive comes after news of his oxygen levels dropping. According to NBC, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows revealed how things took a turn for the worse. “Yesterday, we were real concerned," Meadows said. "He had a fever and his blood oxygen level dropped rapidly."
More & more this is all starting to feel like a massive scam designed to take attention away from various other scandals impacting Trump. And if he really does have COVID19 they are milking the situation as much as they can to elicit sympathy for Trump. Enough of this insanity!— MURRAY 🇺🇸🗽 (@murray_nyc) October 4, 2020