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Trump is making people lose their minds over his behavior this weekend at Walter Reed

Published Oct 5th, 2020 1:43AM EDT
Trump covid update
Image: Tia Dufour - White House via CNP/MEGA
  • One of the many Trump COVID updates everyone got on Sunday was a shocker — at one point in the afternoon, President Trump actually left the confines of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he’s being treated for the coronavirus and was driven around so that he could wave to supporters and well-wishers gathered outside.
  • While he’s been at Walter Reed, President Trump has also, according to his own words, been meeting with soldiers being treated there.
  • These kinds of things go against the quarantining and sequestering off of one’s self that’s recommended when given a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

Dr. James Phillips is an attending physician at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center — the sprawling hospital complex in Bethesda, Maryland, where President Trump was brought from the White House following his COVID-19 diagnosis in recent days. On Sunday, Phillips used his Twitter account to lambast the president’s behavior on a day when the national press was dominated by one Trump COVID update after another.

What set off Phillips was the fact that Trump decide to leave his hospital room temporarily, arguably breaking the quarantine that infected COVID-19 patients should observe. Trump left the room and the hospital entirely so that he could be seen riding around outside on Sunday afternoon, waving at supporters and well-wishers. Trump was in the back seat of a black SUV, and even appeared to be dancing in his seat at one point, while two masked people (presumably Secret Service agents) rode up front.

“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days,” Phillips tweeted. “They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.

Continued Phillips: “That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack. The risk of (COVID-19) 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.”

Here’s a piece of video shared on Twitter that appears to capture a masked President Trump dancing in his SUV outside Walter Reed, while close-up photos of Secret Service in the SUV with him showed they appeared to be wearing N95 masks, as well as some sort of full-body PPE akin to hospital scrubs-type material. Still, that all seems to stand in contrast to what NBC News White House correspondent Peter Alexander says he was told about why First Lady Melania Trump would not be visiting Trump at Walter Reed — because she, too, has COVID-19 “and that would expose the agents who would drive her there.”

This was one of several stunning developments from Sunday related to Trump and his coronavirus diagnosis. Earlier in the day, Trump also released the following video on social media showing him from inside Walter Reed saying at one point that he’s now “learned a lot” about COVID-19:

In that same video, Trump also makes a brief reference to the fact that he’s apparently been meeting with soldiers at Walter Reed while he’s being treated there, which doesn’t sound like something that a person with coronavirus should be doing. And, for good measure, a Trump campaign aide went on one of the Sunday morning talk shows to once again make fun of Joe Biden for wearing a face mask as much as he does. What a day.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.