Donald Trump has sparked horror and outrage after he left the hospital where he is being treated for coronavirus for a photo opportunity with his supporters that had gathered outside of the facility in Maryland.
The president is being cared for at the Walter Reed Medical Centre where he is battling Covid-19 and in a video he posted on Sunday night, where he looked a lot healthier, announcing that he was going to be treating his many supporters that had gathered outside of the building to a surprise.
The surprise turned out to be a drive-by photo-op where from the small confines of a secret service car, the president, wearing a face mask waved at his supporters much to their delight, including one man who could clearly be heard saying that he was 'willing to die for Trump.'
Listen to this audio. It’s a cult. https://t.co/gSZB4XRsA1
Despite wearing a face mask in the footage, the fact that Trump broke the self-isolation rules and put the secret service members also at risk of catching coronavirus.
There was a particularly damning response from Dr James Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University and an attending physician at Walter Reed Medical Centre, who branded the president 'insane' and 'astoundingly irresponsible' in a scathing series of tweets.
Phillips also lamented that everyone else who was in the car with Trump will now have to isolate for 14 days at the risk that they might get sick all for 'political theatre.'
Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University school of medicine and health services, also lambasted Trump for the drive-by saying that he was putting the secret service agents at 'grave risk.'
By taking a joy ride outside Walter Reed the president is placing his Secret Service detail at grave risk. In the h… https://t.co/KIxIM3IhtK
Elsewhere, the response was equally critical of the president for flouting the safety rules, potentially exposing the others to the virus all so he could drive around the block and wave to his fans, who shouldn't be gathered outside the hospital in the first place
Trump goes out of hospital for a drive by “fans”—
A photo op to prove he’s well. And then he goes back to the hospi… https://t.co/XlwcKl2BYZ
There have been mixed reports as to how well Trump is coping with Covid-19. Dr. Sean Conley told reporters on Sunday that the president is now fever free and hasn't been complaining of a shortness of breath since Friday. Dr Brian Garibaldi, a pulmonary specialist, added that the president could potentially leave the facility by Monday:
If he continues to look and feel as good as he does today, our hope is we can plan for a discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House where he can continue his treatment course.
Conley did admit that Trump's oxygen levels had dropped before he was sent to the hospital on Friday which caused some alarm amongst his members of staff.
Photo op or no photo op, almost everyone is united in the hope that the president will make a speedy recovery.