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Trump wanted to rip open shirt to show Superman t-shirt when leaving Walter Reed: report

President Trump considered staging his own Clark Kent moment as he exited last week from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center by ripping open a button-down to reveal a Superman T-shirt underneath, according to The New York Times.

The Times reported on Saturday that during several phone calls from inside the hospital last weekend, Trump shared the idea of appearing frail when he emerged from the facility then exposing the Superman t-shirt underneath his top layer, which he described as a symbol of strength, according to sources with knowledge of the conversations.

Trump reportedly spoke about the idea on multiple phone calls. In the end, the president did not going along with the move. 

The report from the Times came on the same day Trump made his first public appearance on Saturday since returning to the White House from Walter Reed on Monday after a three-night stay following his COVID-19 diagnosis. 

The Times reported the president, who spoke for less than 20 minutes on Saturday, also had a bandage on his hand, which it noted was “a reminder of the treatments and infusions” he has gotten in recent days.

Trump’s doctors have said he was given a steroid, an antiviral drug and an experimental antibody therapy during his treatment of the highly infectious disease. 

The day before his left Walter Reed, Trump was criticized for leaving the facility to wave at supporters from an SUV with two Secret Service agents in the front seat.

Upon returning to the White House the following day on Monday, Trump also got heat for posing for photos on the balcony without a mask, then entering the residence without a face covering.

Just days before, Trump was reported to be exhibiting fatigue and fever. He also had been given supplemental oxygen before and during his stay at Walter Reed, his doctors said during a weekend of conflicting updates on the president’s health.

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Trump Required Walter Reed Staff To Sign Nondisclosure Agreement In 2019

KEY POINTS

  • During a trip to Walter Reed on Nov. 16, 2019, Trump allegedly required both physicians and nonmedical staff to sign an NDA
  • It’s still unknown whether the president required the Walter Reed staff to sign a nondisclosure in his most recent visit
  • Doctors tending to patients are prohibited by federal law from disclosing patients’ personal health information without consent

President Trump has required personnel at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to sign a nondisclosure agreement before treating him. 

During a trip to Walter Reed on Nov. 16, 2019, Trump required both physicians and nonmedical staff to sign an NDA. At least two doctors at Walter Reed refused to sign the NDAs and were not permitted to have any involvement in the president’s care, NBC News reported. 

It’s still unknown whether the president required the Walter Reed staff to sign a nondisclosure in his most recent visit. 

Doctors tending to patients are prohibited by federal law from disclosing patient’s personal health information without consent. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects patients’ confidential health information, which raises the question of why Trump would ask staff members at Walter Reed to sign an NDA.

“Any physician caring for the President is bound by patient-physician confidentiality guaranteed under HIPAA, and I’m not going to comment on internal procedures beyond that,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.

Transparency about Trump’s health has been a major concern since the president tested positive for COVID-19. Trump, his administration, and the physicians attending to him painted a murky picture of how the president is recovering. Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician, has refused to answer key questions, such as when Trump last tested negative for the virus and whether the illness has caused him to develop respiratory problems.

Conley continues to cite HIPAA when dodging questions on the president’s health. “We’ve done routine standard imaging. I’m just not at liberty to discuss,” Conley said on Monday. 

Conley’s written updates on Trump’s health have included the note “I release the following information with the permission of President Donald J. Trump.”

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Trump returns from Walter Reed, White House backs FDA vaccine guidelines

The White House has reportedly backed away from a battle with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has been advancing a timeline for a coronavirus vaccine that suggested an approval wouldn’t happen before Election Day.

The FDA has said it will need two months of observation in late-stage trials of any coronavirus vaccine in order to consider an emergency use authorization — an objective that conflicted with President Donald Trump’s desire to have an inoculation by early November. However, the White House signed off on the new guidelines Tuesday afternoon, backing away from a potential standoff that had worried health experts.

Trump, fresh from a stint in the hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19, re-ignited the political debate over a vaccine timeline, putting him at odds with the FDA. In a video Monday evening, Trump also said that “vaccines are coming, momentarily” — even as FDA guidelines suggest a release wouldn’t happen until well after Election Day.

Trump said as much late Tuesday on Twitter, tagging FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn while posting, “New FDA Rules make it more difficult for them to speed up vaccines for approval before Election Day. Just another political hit job!”

The White House was previously citing pharmaceutical companies’ objections to the two-month period.

Pfizer (PFE) CEO Albert Bourla said Tuesday the company has not been in touch with the White House on the topic and “we believe (FDA)’s independence is today more important than ever as public trust in (COVID-19) vaccine development has been eroded by the politicization of the process.”

In interviews in the past 24 hours, FDA’s top vaccine official, Dr. Peter Marks said a minimum of 7 weeks would be acceptable.

“We’ve made it clear we want to see a median of two months of follow-up for any of the vaccines…while it would be nice to have much more, we have to balance the safety we get up front with the need to try to save lives,” Marks said in an interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association.

He added that an emergency use authorization of a vaccine is likely by the end of the year, since it only takes weeks to review an EUA filing, compared to months of review for a full license approval.

But even that EUA filing could remain a question. Moncef Slaoui, head of Operation. Warp Speed, said during a symposium co-hosted by Johns Hopkins University and the University of Washington that he has advised companies not to file for an EUA until they have enough vaccine to distribute.

A critical date will come on October 22, the date established by a key FDA advisory body to determine official guidelines, even though Trump could still override any decision made then.

“Data from Phase 3 studies that includes a median follow-up duration of at least two months after completion of the full vaccination regimen to help provide adequate information to assess a vaccine’s benefit-risk profile,” according to the Vaccines and Related

The Scene at Walter Reed as Trump Supporters Waited for Him to Go Home

Samuel Corum/Getty Images Supporters of President Donald Trump gather Sunday outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after the president was admitted for treatment of COVID-19.

His doctors might still have cause for concern and his critics might still be outraged and his poll numbers might still be dropping — but to the dozens of Donald Trump faithful who flocked to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday, everything seemed like it was going to be fine.

Better than fine, actually. Great again.

Tracey Armah, a Black cashier from Bethesda, Maryland, sported American flags under both arms and did not wear a mask. “I’m here to support Donald Trump as president because I think he’s the best president ever,” she told PEOPLE.

“I can support who I want to support. It has nothing to do with race,” she said. “Just because you’re Black doesn’t mean you can’t like him.”

It was a familiar refrain among the Trump fans who made the trek the medical facility, which sits just a minutes-long helicopter ride north of the White House. The president, 74, was hospitalized at Walter Reed on Friday night after announcing he and First Lady Melania Trump were infected that morning.

His doctors, while admitting they were projecting optimism about his condition, said over the weekend that the president had had a fever and experienced two drops in his oxygen levels but was improving. On Monday the medical team said he could continue his treatment at home, though he was not “entirely out of the woods.”

Doctors declined to answer other questions, such as if Trump tested negative before attending various public events last week and whether he has shown signs of lung damage.

Outside Walter Reed a few hours before Trump’s discharge, supporters spoke glowingly of his performance in office and they spoke dismissively of the pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 people in the U.S.

Like the president — who has faced months of criticism for waffling on public health guidelines and mocking others for wearing masks — they said they would not be troubled by the thought of the virus.

They may be in the minority: Polling has consistently shown that the pandemic remains a key issue for voters ahead of the Nov. 3 election and Trump has for months gotten poor marks on his response.

He continues to enjoy robust support among the Republican base but, reflecting his long history of exaggerations, lies and misstatements, Trump’s message may not reach many other ears.

Since leaving Walter Reed, the president has tried to reframe the discussion around the virus, arguing he in fact showed decisive leadership and fearlessness — while nonetheless flouting basic guidelines — and that the treatments that have been developed make the deadly virus something people can learn to live with.

He has preferred to talk about the possible lockdowns he says Democrats would impose without end — rather than his administration’s problems rolling out testing nationwide and his decision

Doctors slam Trump’s drive to greet supporters outside Walter Reed hospital

  • In a video posted via Twitter on Sunday, Trump said he would “pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots that we have out on the street.”
  • Shortly thereafter, the presidential motorcade drove by the perimeter of the Walter Reed National Medical Center, with Trump seen through the window of an SUV wearing a face covering and waving to supporters.
  • “Traveling in a car with several staff members while still in isolation also poses a risk of infecting those other exposed passengers. There was no obvious justification for this action,” Michael Baker, an epidemiologist at the University of Otago in Wellington, New Zealand, told CNBC via email.



a passenger seat of a car: US President Trump waves from the back of a car outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on Ocotber 4, 2020.


© Provided by CNBC
US President Trump waves from the back of a car outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on Ocotber 4, 2020.

LONDON — President Donald Trump on Sunday briefly ventured outside Walter Reed hospital in a motorcade to greet cheering supporters, a move that doctors have condemned for flagrantly disregarding precautions designed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Trump, 74, has released a series of videos over the weekend to try to reassure voters that he is recovering after testing positive for Covid-19.

“It has been a very interesting journey. I’ve learned a lot about Covid,” Trump said in a video posted via Twitter on Sunday. The president also suggested he would “pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots that we have out on the street.”

Shortly thereafter, the presidential motorcade drove by the perimeter of the Walter Reed National Medical Center, with Trump seen through the window of an SUV wearing a face covering and waving to supporters.

Trump has repeatedly downplayed the threat of the pandemic, criticizing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as recently as last week for wearing a protective mask, even as the virus has infected millions of people and resulted in the deaths of more than 200,000 Americans.

“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater,” James Phillips, doctor of emergency medicine at George Washington University, and an attending physician at Walter Reed hospital, said via Twitter on Sunday.

“Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity,” he said.

In a second tweet, Phillips added the risk of Covid-19 transmission inside the car was “as high as it gets outside of medical procedures,” saying the presidential SUV was not only bullet proof but hermetically sealed against chemical attack.

“The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play,” Phillips said.

In response to the criticism, White House spokesman Judd Deere told the Associated Press that Trump’s trip outside the hospital “was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.”

Deere added precautions were taken, including the use of personal protective equipment, to protect the president, White House officials and Secret Service

Trump’s drive outside Walter Reed hospital criticized by Secret Service members, doctors

A growing number of Secret Service agents have been concerned about the president’s seeming indifference to the health risks they face when traveling with him in public, and a few reacted with outrage to the trip, asking how Trump’s desire to be seen outside of his hospital suite justified the jeopardy to agents protecting the president. The president’s coronavirus diagnosis has already brought new scrutiny to his lax approach to social distancing, as public health officials scramble to trace those he may have exposed at large in-person events.

“He’s not even pretending to care now,” said one agent after the president’s jaunt outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

“Where are the adults?” said a former Secret Service member.

They spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution.

White House spokesman Judd Deere defended the outing, telling reporters that “appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the President and all those supporting it.” Deere said precautions included personal protective equipment, without providing further details, and added that the trip “was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.”

The White House did not immediately respond to questions from The Washington Post on Sunday night.

Trump wore a mask as he waved to a crowd from the back of his vehicle, after announcing that he would “pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots that we have out on the street.” But the face covering was little comfort to doctors, who took to Twitter to criticize the trip as irresponsible. Masks “help, but they are not an impenetrable force field,” tweeted Saad B. Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health.

Among critics was a doctor affiliated with Walter Reed.

“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days,” tweeted James P. Phillips, who is also a professor 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.”

Phillips said the risk of viral transmission inside the car is “as high as it gets outside of medical procedures.” Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, noted that people inside a hospital wear extensive protective gear — gowns, gloves, N95 masks and more — when they will be in close contact with a coronavirus patient such as Trump.

“By taking a joy ride outside Walter Reed the president is placing his Secret Service detail at grave risk,” he tweeted.

Trump had been irked that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows suggested he was not doing well as he fought the virus, according to campaign and White House officials.

“The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning, and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care,” Meadows said Saturday afternoon, in sharp contrast to doctors who offered rosy

Days after coronavirus hospitalization, Trump briefly leaves Walter Reed to salute supporters | News

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Two days after being hospitalized with COVID-19, President Donald Trump declared, “I get it,” in a message to the nation Sunday before briefly leaving the hospital to salute supporters from his motorcade, a move that again showed his willingness to disregard basic precautions to contain the virus that has killed more than 209,000 Americans.

Hours earlier, Trump’s medical team reported that his blood oxygen level dropped suddenly twice in recent days and that they gave him a steroid typically only recommended for the very sick. The doctors also said his health is improving and that he could be discharged as early as Monday.



White House doctors: President Trump's blood oxygen level dropped twice recently

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s blood oxygen level dropped suddenly twice in recent days, but he “has continued to improve” sinc…

“It’s been a very interesting journey. I learned a lot about COVID,” Trump said, standing in his hospital room in a video posted on social media. “I learned it by really going to school.”

He added, “I get it, and I understand it.”

Before the video was posted, the infected president cruised by supporters in his sealed SUV, windows rolled up, driven by Secret Service agents in protective gear who were potentially exposed to the disease that has swept through the White House in recent days.

“This is insanity,” tweeted Dr. James P. Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where Trump has been hospitalized since Friday evening.

“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die,” the doctor wrote. “For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater.”

Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign said the Democratic presidential nominee again tested negative for coronavirus Sunday. The results came five days after Biden spent more than 90 minutes on the debate stage with Trump. Biden had two negative tests on Friday, as well.

Trump’s doctors earlier in the day sidestepped questions about exactly when Trump’s blood oxygen dropped — an episode they neglected to mention in multiple statements the day before — or whether lung scans showed any damage.

It was the second straight day of confusion and obfuscation from a White House already suffering from a credibility crisis. And it raised more doubts about whether the doctors treating the president were sharing accurate, timely information with the American public about the severity of his condition.

Pressed about conflicting information he and the White House released on Saturday, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley acknowledged that he had tried to present a rosy description of the president’s condition.

“I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, that his course of illness has had. Didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction,” Conley said. “And in doing so, you

Trump Gets Experimental COVID Tx, Now at Walter Reed

President Trump, who announced he tested positive for COVID-19 early Friday morning, was headed to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in the late afternoon for tests and possibly treatment.

Bloomberg reported that Trump would be staying at Walter Reed for “the next few days,” citing a statement from the White House.

An earlier statement from White House physician Sean Conley, DO, said the president had received “a single 8 gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail,” which was completed “without incident.”

Regeneron had released topline results for its investigational REGN-COV2 antibody cocktail on Tuesday: the phase I/II/III trial showed the drug “reduced viral load and the time to alleviate symptoms in non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19,” as well as showing positive trends towards reducing medical visits.

But the product has not received FDA approval emergency use authorization yet, making it truly investigational. Some physicians on Twitter were puzzled that the president was using it. Jeremy Faust, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, tweeted that the president’s team either “can’t read basic medical literature” or “can read basic medical literature, but can’t overrule what [the president] is telling them to do” — or the president’s condition is far more serious than reported, and they are trying everything.

Trump is also receiving zinc, vitamin D, famotidine (Pepcid AC), melatonin, and a daily aspirin, according to Conley. It wasn’t clear whether these were started as COVID therapy or were simply part of his regular regimen. Conley also didn’t mention the president’s daily statin that had been reported on previously.

Conley said the president is “fatigued, but in good spirits,” and added that First Lady Melania Trump, who also tested positive, has “a mild cough and headache.”

Earlier on Friday, AP reported that officials saying masks will still not be mandatory at the White House, describing them as a “personal choice.”

On Saturday morning, Conley released another memo, saying in consultation with specialists, doctors “have elected to initiate remdesivir therapy” for Trump. The president completed his first dose and is “resting comfortably,” Conley said.

Remdesivir is an investigational antiviral that received emergency use authorization in May. In a randomized trial of hospitalized patients, time to recovery was significantly lower, though differences in mortality estimates between the two groups were non-significant.

Reports from CNN via Twitter on Friday cited a Trump adviser who claimed the president was “having some trouble breathing”; however, Conley said the president “is not requiring any supplemental oxygen.”

Conley said he recommended that the president be admitted for “further monitoring” in consultation with specialists from Walter Reed and Johns Hopkins University.

Last Updated October 03, 2020

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    Molly Walker is an associate editor, who covers infectious diseases for MedPage Today. She has a passion for evidence, data and public health. Follow

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Infectious Trump briefly leaves Walter Reed to greet fans as confusion continues over his health

Adding to the confusion about his status, Trump briefly left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda to wave to supporters from a motorcade, after releasing a video on Twitter thanking people who had gathered outside the facility.

“We’re getting great reports from the doctors,” Trump said in the video before promising a “little surprise” to his supporters. “It’s been a very interesting journey. I learned a lot about covid.”

At a news conference earlier Sunday, Trump’s medical team tried to clear up muddled picture it had created the previous day when White House doctor Sean Conley falsely suggested that Trump had not been given supplemental oxygen.

But Conley continued to evade directly answering specific questions about Trump’s health Sunday, even as he revealed that the president had been given dexamethasone, a steroid that is typically reserved for severely ill coronavirus patients needing oxygen. Conley openly admitted to withholding truthful information about Trump’s plummeting blood-oxygen levels Friday, indicating he did so to put a positive spin on the president’s improving condition.

“I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, that his course of illness, has had,” Conley said Sunday, explaining why he told reporters Saturday that Trump had not been given oxygen Friday. “I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction. And in doing so, you know, it came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true.”

Conley also announced that Trump’s oxygen levels had dropped again on Saturday. Asked if Trump had been administered supplemental oxygen as a result, Conley said that he did not know and would have to check with the nursing staff.

The episode continued what has been a days-long torrent of falsehoods, obfuscation, evasion, misdirection and imprecision from those surrounding Trump as he faces the greatest threat to a president’s health in decades. From the chief White House doctor to the president’s chief of staff, the inability to provide clear, direct and consistent information about Trump’s condition has been widespread since the coronavirus began rapidly circulating in the West Wing.

Trump, his doctors and White House aides sought to portray him as improving and largely unencumbered by the virus that has killed more than 209,000 Americans. White House aides emphasized that Trump was continuing to work while at Walter Reed, casting him as a triumphant warrior.

In the Twitter video, Trump said that he has spent part of his time at Walter Reed visiting wounded warriors and first responders without providing details about how those patients were protected against the president infecting them with covid-19. He also indicated that he understood the coronavirus better than medical experts after having contracted it.

“I learned it by really going to school — this is the real school. This isn’t the let’s-read-the-book school,” he said. “And I get it, and I understand it.”

The president donned a mask as he waved to a crowd of fans from inside a

Trump Makes a ‘Little Surprise Visit’ Outside Walter Reed on Day 3 of His Coronavirus Hospitalization

ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump temporarily left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to wave at his supporters on Sunday, which was day 3 of his coronavirus hospitalization.

Possibly concerned about optics and taking publicity matters into his own hands, Trump, who was wearing a black face mask, was driven by his presidential motorcade in front of the D.C. hospital. Waving his bare hand from one of the black SUVs, Trump, 74, greeted the crowds of people who were waving “Make America Great Again” flags and posters.

Minutes prior to Sunday’s unannounced car ride, Trump tweeted another video from the hospital. “We’re getting great reports from the doctors. This is an incredible hospital, Walter Reed. The work they do is absolutely amazing. I want to thank them all, the nurses, doctors. I’ve also got to meet some of the soldiers and what a group,” he began.

“I also think we’re going to pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots we have out on the street and they’ve been out there for a long time. They have Trump flags and they love our country, so I’m not telling anybody but you, but I’m about to make a little surprise visit,” he said.

[primary_media_image primary_image=”12324507″ orientation=”default” /]

Speaking about his coronavirus diagnosis, which he publicly revealed early Friday morning, the president, who was given three drugs — dexamethasone, Regeneron’s antibody treatment and remdesivir — during his stay so far, said: “It’s been a very interesting journey.”

“I learned a lot about COVID. I learned it by really going to school, this is the real school. This isn’t the let’s-read-the-book-school. And I get it,” Trump said. “I understand it. It’s a very interesting thing, I’ll be letting you know about it.”

After his short drive, Trump returned to his presidential suite. “President Trump took a short, last-minute motorcade ride to wave to his supporters outside and has now returned to the Presidential Suite inside Walter Reed,” said Judd Deere, the president’s deputy assistant.

After Trump’s drive-by greeting, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that the president’s “first positive test” was after attending a fundraiser at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Thursday.

RELATED: Trump’s Doctor Admits to Omitting Details of President’s Condition: ‘Was Trying to Reflect Upbeat Attitude’

Earlier in the day, Trump’s team of