President Donald Trump left the hospital and returned to the White House on Monday evening to continue his coronavirus treatment there, despite mysteries surrounding his health and the president‘s doctor warning that he may not be “out of the woods yet.“
“I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good!” he wrote in a tweet about four hours before his departure.
“Don’t be afraid of Covid,” Trump added of the virus that has infected more than 7.4 million people in the U.S. and killed nearly 210,000. “Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”
Trump left Walter Reed Medical Center by helicopter on Monday evening, with Marine One touching down on the White House South Lawn about 15 minutes later. He walked out of Walter Reed under his own power, but did not take questions from reporters gathered outside.
Upon his return, Trump walked up the stairs to the White House wearing a white mask before taking it off on the balcony, standing for a few moments for a photo op before walking in without wearing the mask. Experts say that someone in Trump‘s progression of the virus is still likely contagious, and multiple people could be seen waiting for him on the other side of the entrance.
Trump’s discharge comes as the White House faces accusations of a lack of transparency about the severity of the president’s illness, and as the president has sought to project some semblance of normalcy despite contracting the virus.
It was a striking statement, even for a president who has repeatedly played down the threat of the virus throughout the pandemic, and worked to project normalcy and portray himself as undaunted by it throughout his stay in the hospital.
His administration, meanwhile, has been panned for its response to the pandemic more generally.
Trump was first transferred to Walter Reed on Friday evening out of what the White House said was an “abundance of caution.” His aides have since been eager to show that Trump is still carrying out the duties of the office despite his hospitalization.
But Sean Conley, the president’s physician, appeared to confirm Sunday that Trump’s condition is more serious than the White House had so far acknowledged.
And in a news briefing on Monday afternoon, Conley conceded that the president “may not be entirely out of the woods yet.”
But, he continued, “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 supported by world-class medical care 24/7.“
Trump’s discharge comes at a potentially delicate time, as questions persist about his health.
Some patients see sharp declines about seven to 10 days after infection, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that Covid-positive patients continue to self-isolate for 10 days after