Search icon


05th Oct 2020

Donald Trump’s drive-by greeting of supporters described as “insanity” by hospital doctor

Conor Heneghan

“They might get sick. They may die. For political theatre. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theatre”

An attending physician at Walter Reed Medical Center, where US president Donald Trump is currently receiving treatment after testing positive for Covid-19 last week, has described his greeting of supporters outside the hospital on Sunday as “insanity”.

On Sunday, Trump left the hospital in an SUV, one of a number that travelled in a motorcade including his security detail, so he could wave to a crowd of his supporters who had gathered outside the hospital in Washington.

Trump’s decision to do so was blasted by an attending physician at the hospital, who labelled it as “insanity” and expressed his concern for the health of the secret service agents who travelled inside the vehicle with the president.

“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days,” wrote Dr James P Phillips on Twitter.

“They might get sick. They may die. For political theatre. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theatre. This is insanity.”

“That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack,” Phillips added.

“The risk of Covid-19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play.”

Prior to leaving the hospital to greet his supporters, Trump posted a video from his Twitter account in which he said he was going “to pay a little surprise” to the supporters gathered outside.

“I also think we’re going to pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots that we have out on the street,” Trump said.

“They’ve been out there for a long time and they’ve got Trump flags and they love our country so I’m not telling anybody but you but I’m about to make a little surprise visit so perhaps I’ll get there before you get to see me, but when I look at the enthusiasm and we have enthusiasm like probably nobody’s ever had… people that love the job we’re doing, we have more enthusiasm than maybe anybody.”

Speaking about his experience since being admitted to hospital late last week in the video, Trump added: “It’s been a very interesting journey, I learned a lot about Covid. I learned it by really going to school, this is the real school, this isn’t the read-the-book school. And I get it. And I understand it. And it’s a very interesting thing and I’m going to be letting you know about it.

“In the meantime, we love the USA and we love what’s happening. Thank you.”

Speaking on Sunday, Trump’s physicians said that his health continues to improve and that he could be discharged from hospital as early as Monday.