Donald Trump was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday, after receiving treatment for COVID-19 for three days. Trump says that Americans shouldn’t be “afraid” of COVID-19.
Trump tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and was admitted to Walter Reed less than a day later to receive treatment, but met the criteria for discharge less than 72 hours later. However, White House physician Sean Conley acknowledged that the president isn’t “out of the woods” and his condition could deteriorate as the disease progresses.
“Though he may not entirely be out of the woods yet, the team and I agree that all of our evaluations, and most importantly, his clinical status, support the president’s safe return home,” Conley said during a briefing outside Walter Reed in Bethesda, Md, as reported by The Hill.
Global health law professor at Georgetown University, Lawrence Gostin, believes that Trump’s actions are irresponsible and sends the wrong message for the sake of public health.
“I despair at the idea the president of the United States is telling the public not to be afraid of the virus. COVID-19 is the most contagious and lethal pandemic in a hundred years. It has killed well over 200,000 Americans and will likely kill many more,” Gostin said. “We need to convey information based on science. Moreover the president must model the best public health behaviour.”
Shortly before leaving the hospital, Trump tweeted that he’s feeling better and boasted about his administrations approach to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump left Walter Reed at 6:30 wearing a suit and a light-coloured mask, waving away questions from reporters.
“Thank you very much, everybody,” he said before boarding Marine One for a short trip back to the White House, where he will continue to be treated for COVID-19. Upon his return to the White House, he was seen removing his mask.
Along with Trump’s messaging, this action has caused controversy and once again brings Trump’s ability to lead the United States through the COVID-19 pandemic into question.