Donald Trump returned to the White House Monday night, after spending three days at Walter Reed Medical Center to receive treatment for COVID-19. He left the hospital even though his medical team said he had not finished his treatment yet, and even his doctor made clear he should not yet be leaving the hospital.
Trump took to the balcony of the White House, removed his mask, posed for the cameras, and then after several minutes, walked inside — without his mask.
Trump has downplayed the virus — and specifically, the importance of wearing masks to reduce the spread of the disease that has killed nearly 210,000 Americans. Even while hospitalized, he has minimized the seriousness of the illness from which he is now personally suffering.
On Sunday, Trump took a joyride to drive by his fans outside the hospital, putting the Secret Service agents in the car with him at great risk. He insisted Monday that it would have been "rude" for him not to do so.
"I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 p.m.," Trump tweeted Monday afternoon. "Feeling really good! Don't be afraid of COVID. Don't let it dominate your life."
At least 11 people who work in the White House have tested positive in recent days, including his press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany and several of her aides. Many other members of Trump's inner circle who attended the White House ceremony a week ago to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court have also tested positive.
On Monday, Trump's physician, Sean Conley, refused to say what the protocol will be to keep others safe as the virus continues to spread throughout the White House. It is also not clear what precautions Trump will take — if any — to avoid further infecting the people who serve him.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.