- A Walter Reed doctor accused President Donald Trump of endangering the lives of his intelligence agents for the “political theater” of a trip outside the hospital.
- Dr. James P. Phillips described the event as “madness” that put the lives of intelligence agents at risk.
- Trump was filmed waving to supporters from a car he shared with security guards for a trip outside the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
- The president described the trip as “a little surprise visit to some of the patriots we have on the streets”.
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President Donald Trump was accused by a doctor at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center of endangering the lives of intelligence agents for “political theater”
Dr. James P. Phillips, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University who also serves as the attending physician at Walter Reed, where Trump was hospitalized, said in tweets that “the irresponsibility is amazing,” in tweets in which the president was accused of sharing a car with intelligence agents while they were still infected with the coronavirus.
Trump was filmed temporarily leaving Walter Reed in a black car on Sunday evening after being admitted there on Friday to treat the coronavirus.
Appropriately and with a mask, the President waved to the cheering supporters on the street, which he described in a video statement published on Twitter as “a little surprise visit to some of the patriots we have on the street”.
Phillips said “this is insane”, noting that security guards traveling in the car with Trump would have to be quarantined for two weeks under the official guidance of the U.S. coronavirus due to exposure to the virus.
He tweeted: “Every single person in the vehicle will have to be quarantined for 14 days during this completely unnecessary presidential drive-by. They could get sick. They could die. For political theater. Ordered by Trump to die.” at risk for the theater. This is madness. “
In a second tweet he wrote: “This presidential SUV is not only bulletproof but also hermetically sealed against chemical attack. The risk of COVID19 transmission inside is as high as outside medical procedures. The irresponsibility is amazing. My thoughts are on the Secret Service forced to play. “
Another doctor, Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University’s medical school, added in a tweet: “Taking a pleasure ride outside Walter Reed puts the president at serious risk with his intelligence detail.”
Reiner added: “When we come into close contact with a COVID patient in the hospital, we wear full PPE: dress, gloves, N95, eye protection, hat. This is the level of irresponsibility.”
A White House spokesman Judd Deere said the ride was “cleared as safe by the medical team,” adding that “in carrying out this move, reasonable precautions were taken to protect the President and all supporters, including the PSA, to protect”. The Guardian reported.
In his video statement, Trump described his coronavirus infection as a “very interesting journey” during which he “learned a lot about COVID-19”. He was taken to see Walter Reed on Friday shortly after it was revealed that he had tested positive for the virus.
“I learned by actually going to school,” he said in the video. “This is the actual school. This is not the school where we read the book. I understand and understand it. And it’s a very interesting thing, and I’ll let you know about it.”