Trump eyes quick return amid COVID-19 treatment

WASHINGTON: U.S. President Donald Trump appeared eager for a quick return on Sunday as he’s undergoing COVID-19 treatment at a hospital despite concern about his condition. Sunday evening, Trump briefly left his suite at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland for a motorcade ride to greet his supporters outside the hospital. The masked president, accompanied by Secret Service agents, waved and gave a thumbs up from the backseat of a black SUV.
“I’m not telling anybody but you, but I’m about to make a little surprise visit,” the president said in a video posted to Twitter before going out for the greeting. The movement immediately raised safety concern as critics argued Trump, who’s still recovering from the highly contagious virus, was unnecessarily putting his security detail at risk. “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,” James Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed, tweeted. “The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play.”
White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere defended the drive-by, claiming in a statement that it “was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.” “Appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the President and all those supporting it, including PPE,” Deere added.–Agencies