Trump tells advisors he is getting bored in hospital and is fed up with watching the coverage of his treatment
- Trump wants to return to White House today after doctors floated the possibility
- Some aides worry that an early discharge is a ‘political decision’ before election
- Advisors worry that his symptoms could relapse, forcing him back into hospital
The president has told aides he wants to return to the White House as early as today after doctors floated the possibility of a Monday discharge.
But according to the Washington Post, some advisors see the possible return to the White House as a ‘political decision’ just weeks before the election.
Trump’s aides are also worried that an early release could backfire if his symptoms relapse and he is forced to return to Walter Reed, it is claimed.
Donald Trump (pictured posing for a photo at the Walter Reed hospital) has reportedly told aides he wants to return to the White House on Monday
Trump’s medical team said on Sunday that the president ‘continued to improve’ two days after he was dramatically airlifted from the White House.
White House physician Sean Conley also acknowledged for the first time that Trump had been given oxygen after a ‘rapid progression’ of his illness.
Confusion has reigned over mixed messages from the White House after Conley’s upbeat assessment on Saturday was soon followed by another claim that Trump’s condition was ‘very concerning’.
Medics also appeared to contradict the White House timeline about when Trump was infected, before hastily backtracking.
Trump, 74, said in a Sunday video that he had ‘learned a lot about Covid’ by ‘really going to school’ as he battled the virus.
The president then caused further controversy by briefly leaving the hospital and waving to supporters from a bulletproof car.
Health experts took to the airwaves and social media to criticize the ‘stunt,’ which they said demonstrated that he had learned nothing at all.
‘Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days,’ said James Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University.
‘They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.’
White House spokesman Judd Deere said ‘appropriate’ precautions had been taken to protect Trump and his support staff, including protective gear.
‘The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do,’ he added.
Trump caused controversy on Sunday by waving to supporters from a motorcade (pictured) despite being infectious
Trump supporters, some of them wearing masks, hold up flags as they rally outside the Walter Reed Medical Center in support of the president
But Zeke Emanuel, chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, described the appearance as ‘shameful.’
‘Making his Secret Service agents drive with a Covid-19 patient, with windows up no less, put them needlessly at risk for infection. And for what? A PR stunt,’ he said.
Trump has flouted mask-wearing and social distancing rules throughout the pandemic, while his family did not wear masks at last Tuesday’s debate.
As well as Trump and Hicks, numerous White House insiders and at least three Republican senators have contracted Covid-19, along with first lady Melania Trump, who has not experienced severe symptoms.
Public health experts have expressed alarm at the ‘White House cluster’ that has been linked to Trump’s Supreme Court nomination in the Rose Garden a week ago.
As well as oxygen, Trump has been treated with dexamethasone, a steroid used to treat inflammation in other diseases.
On Saturday, the president was started on a five-day course of intravenous antiviral drug remdesivir, which is sold by Gilead Sciences.
Doctors have said that both of these drugs makes sense early in the course of illness to prevent it from getting worse, but dexamethasone is generally reserved for people whose condition has deteriorated.
‘We give dexamethasone to patients who require supplemental oxygen,’ said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University.
‘The biggest question would be is there a risk of deterioration, or is he on a good trajectory?’ Dr. Adalja said.
Trump spoke in a video on Sunday night where he said he had ‘really been to school’ as he battled the coronavirus
The president’s deputy campaign manager Jason Miller told ABC on Sunday that he had spoken to Trump for half an hour and that the president was ‘cracking jokes’.
Dr. David Battinelli, chief medical officer at New York’s Northwell Health, said ‘it’s entirely plausible’ that Trump could get discharged on Monday, but cautioned that a full recovery would take time.
‘It would be very unlikely for him to be out and about, and on the campaign trail in less than 14 days,’ he said.
With less than a month until the election, the president’s hospitalization has sidelined him from the campaign as he tries to overhaul Joe Biden’s poll lead.
Biden – who announced his latest negative test for the virus on Sunday – will start the week with a trip to key swing state Florida on Monday.
One poll released at the weekend gave Biden a 14-point lead in the election, while another showed him well ahead in the key state of Pennsylvania.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll published on Sunday showed no signs of a sympathy vote, with Biden retaining a strong lead even after Trump’s infection.
The poll found that 65 per cent of Americans, including 50 per cent of registered Republicans, agreed that ‘if President Trump had taken coronavirus more seriously, he probably would not have been infected.’
Only 34 per cent said they thought that Trump has been telling them the truth about the coronavirus, while 55 per cent said that he was not and 11 per cent were unsure.
If Trump’s condition worsens, the 25th Amendment would allow Vice President Mike Pence to take power temporarily.
This procedure has been used before by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, but only for scheduled surgeries for a few hours at a time.
If Trump had to be replaced on the ballot, it would be up to the Republican Party to choose a new nominee.
However, this would cause huge complications because many ballots have already been sent out and returned by mail.