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Trump Signals Improving Health With Appearance For Supporters

US President Donald Trump waved at supporters from a motorcade Sunday on a short drive outside the hospital where he was being treated for Covid-19.

The outing came minutes after the president had announced “a surprise” for fans, and it appeared designed to personally take back the narrative on his improving health after a weekend of confused and contradictory messaging from the White House and Trump’s medical team.

This White House handout photo released October 4, 2020 shows US President Donald Trump working in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland a day earlier after testing positive for Covid-19 This White House handout photo released October 4, 2020 shows US President Donald Trump working in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland a day earlier after testing positive for Covid-19 Photo: The White House / Joyce N. BOGHOSIAN

Seen in a dark face mask and waving, the president rolled past delighted supporters before returning to the Walter Reed military hospital near Washington.

“We’re going to pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots that we have out on the street,” Trump had said in a video posted to Twitter moments earlier.

“I’m about to make a little surprise visit.”

US President Donald Trump was said to be doing "well" although there was confusion over mixed messaging from his medical team US President Donald Trump was said to be doing “well” although there was confusion over mixed messaging from his medical team Photo: AFP / SAUL LOEB

Trump, who has been repeatedly rebuked for flouting public health guidelines and spreading misinformation on the pandemic, added that he had “learned a lot about Covid” by “really going to school,” as he has battled the virus.

“This is the real school. This isn’t the ‘let’s read the books school,’ and I get it, and I understand it, and it’s a very interesting thing,” he added.

But the decision to leave his hospital suite was immediately criticized by the medical community, who voiced bafflement that the president wasn’t being kept isolated as he is treated for the highly contagious viral infection.

The celebration for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett at the White House on September 26 is thought to have been the source of new infections inside the president's inner circle The celebration for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett at the White House on September 26 is thought to have been the source of new infections inside the president’s inner circle Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / CHIP SOMODEVILLA

“That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack,” said James Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University.

“The risk of COVID19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play.”

US President Donald Trump US says he is doing well, but that the next few days will be the "rel test". He posted a video on Twitter ahead of a second night in hospital, where he is being treated for Covid-19. US President Donald Trump US says he is doing well, but that the next few days will be the “real test”. He posted a video on Twitter ahead of a second night in hospital, where he is being treated for Covid-19. Photo: TWITTER / @realDonaldTrump

The episode came hours after a briefing by Trump’s medical team, who said he had “continued to improve” and could be returned to the White House, which has all the necessary equipment and expertise to continue his treatment, as early as Monday.

The celebration for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett at the White House on September 26 is thought to have been the source of new infections inside the president's inner circle The celebration for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett at the White House on September 26 is