White House says ‘appropriate precautions’ were taken for Trump’s outing to see supporters
The White House on Sunday night insisted that proper precautions were taken ahead of President Trump’s motorcade visit outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he is being treated for COVID-19.
“Appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the president and all those supporting it, including PPE [personal protective equipment]. The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do,” White House spokesman Judd Deere told reporters.
He declined to say whether the president requested the motorcade, if the president met with anyone in-person on Sunday and why the press pool was not notified.
Trump waved at his supporters who were gathered outside the hospital during a “surprise” visit despite undergoing treatment for the coronavirus.
Trump was seen wearing a face mask, and Secret Service agents in the vehicle with him also appeared to be wearing personal protective equipment including medical-grade masks and gowns.
Trump drives by the press and supporters outside Walter Reed hospital. pic.twitter.com/3phtKthqTH
— Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) October 4, 2020
Still, the appearance on Sunday drew criticism as many pointed out it broke with state guidance on the pandemic, and health experts said the appearance likely put Secret Service officials at risk.
Trump has been recovering from the virus at Walter Reed since Friday. His doctors said on Sunday that the president could be released as soon as Monday.