A top doctor has come out to denounce Donald Trump’s drive-by parade for supporters gathered outside the hospital where he is being treated for Covid.
A top doctor has come out to denounce Donald Trump’s drive-by parade for supporters gathered outside the hospital where he is being treated for Covid, labelling the move as “Insanity”.
Covid, Donald Trump drive-by “Insanity”
The US president paraded past his fans outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland on Saturday after writing “a surprise” on Twitter. He was wearing a mask and escorted by a considerable number of security officers, most likely, Secret Service agents. Trump waved to cheering fans from an armoured SUV motorcade. His doctor confirmed that Trump was on steroids for unstable oxygen levels at the time.
There is great confusion over the US president’s condition as White House doctors give very different accounts to others who suggest he could be discharged today.
Dr James Phillips, a Walter Reed physician and the chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University was amongst the chief critics of the parade saying: “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. Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.”
Phillips’ colleague at George Washington University, Jonathan Reiner a professor of medicine and surgery, tweeted: “By taking a joy ride outside Walter Reed the president is placing his Secret Service detail at grave risk. In the hospital when we go into close contact with a Covid patient we dress in full PPE: Gown, gloves, N95, eye protection, hat. This is the height of irresponsibility. His doctors should have said no. They need to stand up for what is right. This is wrong.”
Judd Deere, White House spokesman, said the drive had been “cleared by the medical team as safe” and that all relevant precautions had been taken. In Trump’s third update since contracting Covid he said: “I learned a lot about Covid. I learned it by really going to school. This is a real school. This isn’t the let’s read the books school. And I get it, and I understand it. And it’s a very interesting thing.”
Dr Sean Conley, the President’s physician, said Donald Trump had been on supplemental oxygen on Friday after his blood oxygen level plummeted twice. He then surprised everyone by suggesting that the President could be discharged and allowed to continue treatment at the White House today, adding the president “has continued to improve”.