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Pelosi suggests Trump setting 'dangerous' example with quick return to White House

Pelosi suggests Trump setting 'dangerous' example with quick return to White House
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Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiUS economy hurtles toward 'COVID cliff' with programs set to expire Democrats gear up for last oversight showdown with Trump Divided citizenry and government — a call to action for common ground MORE (D-Calif.) suggested Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE's plan to return quickly to the White House was motivated by politics, not health and science, warning that the decision will set a dangerous example to a country still reeling under the weight of the coronavirus.

"The president could be going back to the White House and become a long-hauler, someone who has consequences from this virus," she said in an interview with MSNBC. "He should not be dealing with it politically to make it look like he overcame the virus because he's had such good policies. ... In fact, he has been very destructive and dangerous to the country."

Trump on Friday was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., less than 24 hours after he announced that he and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpPresident says Trump Jr. doing 'very well' after COVID-19 diagnosis Trumps to spend Thanksgiving at White House instead of traveling to Florida Chelsea Clinton blames Trump for Secret Service officers in quarantine MORE tested positive for COVID-19.

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On Sunday, after initially refusing to answer pointed questions about the president's symptoms, White House physician Sean Conley revealed that Trump's condition had deteriorated to the point that he was given supplemental oxygen as well as the steroid dexamethasone, which has been used largely to treat severe cases of COVID-19.

Appearing at Walter Reed on Monday just moments after Pelosi spoke, Conley said Trump was clear to leave the facility and return to the White House. The president had not experienced a fever in 72 hours, Conley said, and his oxygen levels "are all normal."

"Though he may not entirely be out of the woods yet, the team and I agree that all our evaluations, and most importantly his clinical status, support the president's safe return home, where he'll be surrounded by world-class medical care 24/7," he said.

Conley has come under heavy scrutiny from the medical community for what some consider an overly rosy depiction of Trump's condition and recuperation. Pelosi on Monday piled on, suggesting the president's medical team is taking marching orders from Trump rather than delivering sound evaluations.

"I hope that we could trust them, but what is disconcerting is that we know that the president's physicians present a report that must be approved by the president," she said. "That's not scientific. That is not what the public is owed about the state of health of the president of the United States."

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Conley on Sunday defended his reluctance to provide details a day earlier, saying he didn't want to relay "any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction."

"I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, over his course of illness, has had," he said.

That argument fell flat with a number of Democrats who have called for full transparency regarding Trump's health from the start.

"It is not Dr. Conley's job to lift the spirits of the American people. It's actually to tell the truth," Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuHouse Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Democrats to determine leaders after disappointing election Mark Cuban asks voters to 'reconsider' donating to Georgia run-off elections MORE (D-Calif.) told reporters Monday. "The American people can figure out what to do with the facts. But if he's going to mislead the American people, then he really should not be giving these press conferences. It should be another doctor."

Amid the nation's infatuation with Trump's illness and recuperation, party leaders in Washington are still fighting to secure an agreement on another round of emergency coronavirus stimulus.

On Monday morning, Pelosi spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed | Trump administration proposal takes aim at bank pledges to avoid fossil fuel financing | JPMorgan: Economy will shrink in first quarter due to COVID-19 spike Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Pence, Biden wage tug of war over pandemic plans MORE for roughly an hour, according to Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill, as the two power brokers seek to iron out the stubborn differences that have dogged the talks for weeks.

"The two discussed the justifications for various numbers and plan to exchange paper today in preparation for another phone call tomorrow," Hammill tweeted.

Pelosi later suggested the pair is making progress but declined to say if a deal is possible this week.

"One way or another — it depends on if they really want to crush the virus, honor our heroes and put money in the pockets of the American people," she said.

House Democrats had passed a $2.2 trillion package last week, and Pelosi has so far held firm at that number. But the proposal was rejected by Mnuchin and Republicans in the administration who offered a $1.6 trillion counterproposal — a figure Democrats deem too low to address the ongoing health and economic crisis.

"I think all Democrats are willing to compromise," Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineHouse Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Nominated for another Speaker term, Pelosi says it's her last Katherine Clark secures No. 4 leadership spot for House Democrats MORE (D-R.I.), the head of the Democrats' messaging, arm said Monday on a press call. "But we also think it's important that the bill be meaningful and that it actually provides the relief that's necessary, not just some check-the-box-we-did-something [proposal]."