Donald Trump: US President criticised by doctor after drive-by visit to supporters at Walter Reed Medical Centre

A trip taken by the US President to visit supporters camped outside the Walter Reed Medical Centre yesterday has been branded “insanity” by a doctor who works there.

Monday, 5th October 2020, 7:23 am
Updated Monday, 5th October 2020, 7:24 am

Donald Trump was taken to the Presidential wing at the Maryland facility on Friday after testing positive for coronavirus earlier last week.

On Sunday, Mr Trump made a “surprise” visit to see the hundreds of supporters that have gathered outside the hospital since his admission, waving from the back of an armoured Chevrolet Suburban.

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But Dr. James P. Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed, wrote on Twitter: “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 (sic).

“This is insanity,” he finished.

Later, speaking to the New York Times, Dr Phillips suggested Mr Trump may be directing his doctors’ actions.

“At what point does the physician-patient relationship end, and does the commander-in-chief and subordinate relationship begin, and were those doctors ordered to allow this to happen?”

A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Trump’s unscheduled outing came as the White House tried to downplay question marks over his condition.

After a press conference on Saturday where the President’s physicians told reporters that Mr Trump was doing “extremely well”, officials later admitted that he required medical intervention twice after his blood oxygen level dropped in the days after his diagnosis.

Doctors also later disclosed that Mr Trump had been given a course of steroids, which suggested his condition was less stable than first made out to be.

The medical team insists that since Saturday, the President has made a recovery, adding that he may be ready to discharge later on today.

Hundreds of Trump supporters that have gathered outside the hospital since the President's admission. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

“It’s been a very interesting journey,” Mr. Trump told followers in a video on Twitter before heading to visit supporters outside the hospital, “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-books school.

“And I get it. And I understand it. And it’s a very interesting thing and I’m going to be letting you know about it.”

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