Trump Uses His Return to White House as Reckless Photo Op

Three days after a high fever and oxygen crisis put him in the hospital, coronavirus-infected Donald Trump returned to the White House and pulled off his mask for a photo-opportunity that was immediately turned into a video meant to show he had beaten COVID-19.

But even Trump’s own doctor concedes that he “may not entirely be out of the woods yet,” and the president appeared to be winded after climbing the steps to the White House to pose between two American flags.

Several staffers stood nearby as he tucked his mask into his suit pocket and saluted Marine One, which had landed on the lawn minutes earlier. At one point, he walked into the building—still not wearing a mask—and then returned to the balcony for a re-shoot.

The display of optics over safety came hours after Trump—who has been given two experimental treatments and a heavy-duty steroid—tweeted a message that struck many as callous considering that almost 210,000 Americans have been killed by the virus.

“Feeling really good!” Trump tweeted on Monday afternoon. “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”

It also followed another public exercise in evasion and obfuscation by Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, who refused to answer questions about the president’s lung health, citing patient privacy laws even as he released other medical data that presented a rosier picture.

“Though he may not entirely be out of the woods yet, his team and I agree that all our evaluations—and most importantly his clinical status—support the president’s safe return home,” said Conley, telling reporters that the president would be “surrounded by world-class medical care 24/7.”

Details about Trump’s time at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center have been hard to nail down, but Conley belatedly admitted on Sunday that doctors decided to fly him there on Friday after his fever spiked and his oxygen levels dropped, requiring supplemental oxygen.

While still at the White House, he was given an experimental combination of two monoclonal antibodies. At Walter Reed, he got doses of the anti-viral drug remdesivir, and, on Saturday, the steroid dexamethasone, which can have serious side effects and is usually reserved for those with severe illness.

Source Article