“Every person who was in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary presidential ‘ride’ can get sick or die,” says a doctor at the hospital where Trump is treated.
UNITED STATES (Reuters) – Doctors described Trump’s ride as “completely unnecessary” because, they say, it puts people’s lives at risk. This after U.S. President Donald Trump briefly left the military hospital where he is being treated by COVID-19 in a caravan on Sunday to greet a group of supporters gathered outside the site, prompting criticism that he is putting others at risk for a political maneuver.
Patients who are positive for COVID-19 should generally be quarantined for 14 days, the typical incubation period for coronavirus, to avoid infecting others. In the United States, the coronavirus has already killed more than 200,000 people.
Trump tested positive on Thursday and did not reveal his infection until that evening. Shortly before the brief trip, the president posted a video on Twitter saying that he would give “a little surprise to some of the great patriots we have on the street.
White House spokesman Judd Deere described the trip as a “short last-minute walk to greet his followers” and said that Trump quickly returned to his hospital suite. He added that “proper precautions” were taken before the trip to protect the president and his supporters and that the departure “was authorized.”
But the decision drew criticism, including from a doctor working at Walter Reed Hospital.
“Every person who was in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary presidential ‘ride’ now has to be quarantined for 14 days,” James Phillips, who is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine, said on Twitter. “They can get sick. They can die because of political theater.
Democratic Senator Brian Schatz said he is praying for the health of the Secret Service agents who care for Trump: “They understand the risk inherent in their job, but they should not have to contemplate that the threat comes from the person they are protecting.
The White House Correspondents Association issued a statement calling it “outrageous” that Trump left the hospital without a group of reporters present. “The American public deserves independent coverage of the president so that they can be reliably informed about their health.”
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