Trump returns to White House after leaving hospital, sheds mask for photo opportunity

Trump abruptly announced earlier in the day on Twitter that he would be leaving Walter Reed.

“I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M,” Trump tweeted in the afternoon. “Feeling really good!”

“Don’t be afraid of Covid,” he continued. “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!”

The virus has so far killed more than 211,000 people in the United States.

Earlier Monday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and two of her deputies were confirmed to have tested positive for Covid-19, among 11 people tied to the president who have contracted the virus in recent days.

Shortly before his departure, Trump tweeted, “Will be back on the Campaign Trail soon!”‘

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines stipulate that a person should quarantine for 10 days after symptoms first appear. The president first said he began feeling sick Thursday, about five days ago. The CDC says those “who are severely ill” with the virus may need to quarantine for up to 20 days.

The president’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, briefed the news media Monday afternoon, saying the president has improved to the point that he could recommend returning to the White House, although he said Trump is not quite in the clear yet. Conley said the president would continue to take remdesivir, an experimental antiviral drug, later Monday and on Tuesday.

“Though he may not be entirely 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,” Conley said. He declined to say when the president last tested negative for the virus.

Asked about the results of the president’s chest X-ray, Conley said he could not discuss it, citing health privacy laws. But he seemed to do so selectively, having released other information that would be protected by the law. It was not clear why Conley did not want the public to know about the X-ray, which could indicate whether signs of pneumonia are present.

On Sunday, Conley acknowledged in a briefing that he had not been completely forthcoming about Trump’s condition at a briefing Saturday to “reflect the upbeat attitude” of the White House.

Later Sunday, White House strategic communications director Alyssa Farah defended the mixed messaging by saying, “When you’re treating a patient, you want to project confidence, you want to lift their spirits, and that was the intent.”

Doctors had said Sunday that Trump could be discharged as soon as Monday, but they also said he was placed on a steroid therapy typically used in more severe coronavirus cases.

Conley said Trump experienced a high fever Friday morning and was administered supplemental oxygen later in the day. He added that Trump’s oxygen levels dipped for a second time Saturday, but he could not answer whether Trump required supplemental oxygen that day. Doctors said

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Trump returns to White House and removes mask despite having Covid

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

© Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images
US President Trump waves from the back of a car in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020.

President Donald Trump staged a reckless departure from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday, telling his followers the virus that dangerously deprived him of oxygen and hospitalized him for 72 hours was nothing to fear before posing for a mask-less photo-op on the White House balcony.


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It was a remarkable attempt to convert his still-ongoing disease into a show of strength, even as it underscored his longstanding practice of denying the pandemic’s severity and downplaying its risks despite the more than 200,000 Americans dead.

“Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life,” Trump wrote several hours before walking carefully out of the hospital’s gold front doors, even as his doctors warned he wasn’t yet “out of the woods.”

Wearing a white cloth mask and a navy blue suit, Trump gave several thumbs up and a first bumps as he walked down the hospital’s front steps toward his waiting helicopter. He would not answer when asked how many of his staffers had tested positive.

After a flight over Washington, Trump landed on the South Lawn and proceeded in an unusual route up a set of stairs the first-floor balcony, where aides had positioned a row of American flags.

Peeling off his mask, Trump posed in salute as his helicopter departed before walking inside. The building he’s returning to has become a center for viral contagion — in part because of disregard for mitigation measures.

Then Trump posted a propaganda video after apparently re-doing his White House entrance for effect. He also nonsensically seemed to claim he faced the coronavirus because he “had to” as a “leader” — a deeply misleading message to deliver.

“We’re going back. We’re going back to work. We’re gonna be out front. As your leader I had to do that. I knew there’s danger to it but I had to do it,” Trump says in the video. “I stood out front. I led. Nobody that’s a leader would not do what I did. I know there’s a risk there’s a danger. That’s OK. And now I’m better, and maybe I’m immune? I don’t know. But don’t let it dominate your lives. Get out there, be careful.”

The message was jarring not only because it was irresponsible but that it came from a current coronavirus patient who has experienced serious symptoms of the disease and whose recovery has included experimental treatments unavailable to most Americans.

As more of his aides test positive for the disease and questions emerge about what steps have been taken to curtail the spread, Trump’s physician Dr. Sean Conley offered few details on how staff members would be kept safe upon Trump’s return to the White House, which is equipped with its own medical suite.

He also continued to obfuscate on critical pieces of information, such as

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Trump removes mask upon arrival at White House

President TrumpDonald John TrumpQuestions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight White House staffers get email saying to stay home if they experience coronavirus symptoms White House says ‘appropriate precautions’ were taken for Trump’s outing to see supporters MORE, who is infected with a highly contagious virus, took off his mask upon his return to the White House on Monday as he posed for photos from the balcony above the South Lawn.

The president posed for photos and appeared to be taking part in a video shoot following his return to the executive mansion after spending three days undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. After landing in Marine One, Trump walked up the stairs of the South Portico, removed his mask and looked over the balcony.

The president was near an official photographer, and other staffers could be seen behind him. He did not put his mask back on as he turned to walk back into the White House.

The image reflects how Trump appears largely unchanged in his views toward COVID-19 even after contracting the virus that has killed more than 200,000 people in the U.S. and infected millions. The president earlier in the day tweeted to his followers, “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.”

Trump revealed Friday that he and the first lady had tested positive for the virus. He was taken to Walter Reed later that day and has been showing symptoms, including fatigue and fever. The president required supplemental oxygen on Friday and Saturday as well.

White House physician Sean Conley told reporters earlier Monday that Trump was healthy enough to leave the hospital, citing his vitals and clinical evaluations. But he acknowledged that the president, who is 74 and overweight and thus at risk for severe complications, was not out of the woods yet.

“If we can get through to Monday with him remaining the same or improving better yet, then we will all take that final deep sigh of relief,” Conley said. 

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White House ‘super spreader’ event in Rose Garden reminds people that yes, you should still wear a mask outside

Epidemiologists continue to scrutinize a White House event after more than a dozen people, including President Donald Trump and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, announced they tested positive for COVID-19.

Here is a list of other officials who have tested positive since President Donald Trump



Several of them attended a ceremony held outside in the Rose Garden on Sept. 26 where Trump announced his Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, in front of more than 180 people. 

The suspected “super spreader” event highlights the importance of wearing a mask and social distancing, even when outside. But some health officials, including leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, say they don’t always wear a mask outside.

a group of people in a garden: President Donald Trump announces Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at the White House on Sept. 26.

© Alex Brandon, AP
President Donald Trump announces Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at the White House on Sept. 26.

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So, when is it appropriate to take it off?

In an interview with Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, Fauci said you can take your mask off outdoors if you’re around people you live with and there is no one else in the immediate vicinity.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease director said on his daily 4-mile walk, he typically wears his mask around his neck and puts it on over his mouth when he sees someone coming.

Dr. Lewis Nelson, professor and chair of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, says mask wearing outside depends on one’s ability to social distance. If you’re more than 6 feet away from someone outside, then it’s generally safer to take your mask off.

Outdoors is safer than indoors, but it’s never totally safe, he said. Especially when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios estimates about 40% of people who have COVID-19 are asymptomatic.

To mask or not to mask: Now that Trump tested positive for COVID-19, will shoppers be more compliant with mask mandates at stores?

New workplace attire: Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis raises questions about what to do if your boss won’t wear a mask

“Asymptomatic spread is very real, which is why you can’t feel that comfortable in an environment where people aren’t sick,’” Nelson said.

Dr. Sunil Sood, infectious diseases specialist at Northwell Health’s South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, New York, says the rules of “mask-on, mask off” also apply when dining outside.

“It is tiresome… (but) you just have to do that,” he said. “The only time you should take your mask off is when you’re actually biting and chewing.”

This means keeping the mask on while chatting with other diners, waiting for food and speaking with your waiter. The only exception would be if you’re dining alone at 6 feet away from other people or if you’re dining with members of your household.

Health experts stress testing negative

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Mirfield: Face mask cameras installed at garden centre

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

CCTV mask recognition software

image copyrightKarolmarketing

image captionCustomers are alerted to the need for face coverings by the software at the garden centre

A garden centre has employed mask recognition technology to help stop customers entering without coverings.

Whiteley’s Garden Centre at Mirfield, West Yorkshire, has installed cameras linked to software at the entrance point to spot anyone without a mask.

Face coverings must be worn by

customers in shops, supermarkets and shopping centres around the UK.

The software scans faces and where it finds visible points such as a nose or mouth it flashes a message on screen.

Managers at the centre said they had seen a “90% drop in customers refusing to wear a face covering” which meant they no longer had to have a member of staff manning the door.

General Manager, Peter Williams said: “Customers’ and employees’ safety should be a top priority for all retailers in the current environment.

“I was very excited to see how our visitors reacted to this new system and I must admit I was overwhelmed with the volume of positive feedback we’ve received from customers and employees respectively.

“Our customers are feeling safer coming into the centre knowing that we are doing our best to support national efforts to suppress the virus and our employees are very appreciative of the technology removing the confrontational element, asking customers to put on their mask.”

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VIDEO STARS: Spring Garden athletes, cheerleaders ask, don’t you forget about your mask | High School

(The Spring Garden video is at the bottom …)

They love their sports in Spring Garden, and if it means they need to wear masks to slow the spread of COVID-19 and avoid a suspension of their sports year, they’re willing to do it.

And, they’ll have a little fun with it along the way.

Directed by Spring Garden School faculty member Kevin Ward, about a dozen senior athletes and cheerleaders collaborated on a video urging the community to “mask up” so the school can have a full season of athletics. The video was posted on the Spring Garden Network’s Facebook page and has drawn more than 2,400 views. Two different posts of the video on the school’s Twitter account have combined for more than 1,200 views.

“During the summer when we were thinking about ways to get kids to buy into wearing masks, and a video was one of the ideas,” said Ward, a Spring Garden football and basketball coach, an ISS teacher, and an administrator for the school’s social media accounts.

The video lasts one minute, 12 seconds, and it’s a nod to “The Breakfast Club,” a teen movie released in 1985.

The theme song from the movie, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds, serves as the background music. The Spring Garden video begins and ends with the students walking toward the camera and leaping in the air, where they’re caught in a freeze frame.

Ward acknowledged he is a “huge” fan of “The Breakfast Club” but that it wasn’t his idea to use that movie as a source of inspiration. Instead, senior football player Luke Welsh mentioned it.

“When we approached the kids about the idea of a video, they were really excited about it, and I wanted to leave it up to them how we would do it,” Ward said. “Luke asked about ‘Breakfast Club’ and having it end with a leap in the air like they did in ’80s videos.”

In the video, the students seemed to enjoy themselves.

“I probably looked goofy,” Welsh said, smiling. “But, we had fun. It’s for the school. Whatever it takes to have a full season.”

Between the leaps at the beginning and end of the video, they promote the message of wearing masks, but they’re enjoying themselves. Senior Weston Kirk is seen wearing a mask covering his whole face, not just his nose and mouth. Welsh is seen laughing about it.

Alexis Adkinson messed up the first time in her attempt to ask folks to wear masks, before nailing it the second time. Both takes are included, with Adkinson smiling the whole way through it.

Spring Garden quarterback Ryley Kirk appears dead serious as he asks for people to wear masks.

“None of them are acting,” Ward said. “They’re just being themselves. What you see from Ryley, that’s how he is.”

There’s even a special appearance by Spring Garden basketball and volleyball coach Ricky Austin.

“I turned the corner and saw them, and Coach Ward said,

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Coronavirus latest: ICYMI: Top takeaways from this week’s “Face the Nation”: Surgeon General on mask messaging

This week on “Face the Nation” as the West Coast struggles to beat back devastating fires in a COVID-complicated world, the candidates enter the final phase of the 2020 campaign. But the White House is forced to play defense as new revelations raise questions on what President Trump knew, and when.

Here’s the big takeaways from Sunday’s episode of “Face the Nation”

1. Kirby on keeping his airline afloat

United CEO: 16,000 layoffs coming without mor…


  • On the cusp of an election and in the midst of a national health crisis, it would not seem good politics to allow mass layoffs of Americans across broad swaths of U.S. industry. Yet Congressional talks to craft any new emergency aid package for jobless benefits or lifelines to troubled industries are stalled. 
  • That means that within the next two weeks or so U.S. air carriers are warning that the plan to cut tens of thousands of jobs by October once the terms of the CARES Act expire. That emergency financial support package cobbled together by Congress set aside $50 billion for the U.S. travel industry and required airlines to keep employees on the payroll. 
  • United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby told us that he plans to cut 16,000 jobs but is working with unions to try to reduce that number. The bottom line is that large parts of the economy cannot recovery until there is vaccine, and in the meantime companies are just hoping to stay afloat. 
  • Kirby warned: “without more government support for the whole economy, there’s going to be more layoffs to come across the economy.” 
  • “And in a business like ours, demand is not going to come back until people feel safe being around other people. And that’s going to take a vaccine. And that’s just the reality. Some businesses can recover earlier, but in aviation and all the industries that we support, it’s going to take longer.”

2. So when will that vaccine be ready? 

Pfizer CEO says company will know if vaccine …


  • Pfizer is investing one and a half billion dollars to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. If its scientists fail then the cost will hit the pharmaceutical giant’s bottom line. Unlike six other vaccine developers, Pfizer declined to accept U.S. taxpayer funding to offset those costs. The company’s CEO Albert Bourla argued that he did so to “liberate” scientists from bureaucracy and thus to be more nimble.
  • What Bourla said: “When you get money from someone that always comes with strings. They want to see how we are going to progress, what type of moves you are going to do. They want reports. I didn’t want to have any of that. I wanted them- basically I gave them an open checkbook so that they can worry only about scientific challenges, not anything else. And also, I wanted to keep Pfizer out of politics, by the way.”
  • How will Americans get the vaccine? “The how I think is going to be very difficult for the government to
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White House task force: Statewide mask mandate unnecessary

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The White House task force on the coronavirus is no longer recommending a statewide mask mandate in Oklahoma, according to the report released Wednesday by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

The report, dated Sunday, instead recommends a mask mandate in urban areas and in counties where students and teachers in public schools have tested positive for the virus.

The White House task force had recommended a statewide mask mandate in each weekly report since early August.

The report said there were 146 new virus cases per 100,000 population in the last week, compared to a national average of 88 per 100,000.

“Oklahoma is in the red zone for cases, indicating more than 100 new cases per 100,000 population last week, with the 9th highest rate in the country,” and has the fourth highest percentages of positive tests at more than 10%, according to the report

Gov. Kevin Stitt has said he he will not issue a statewide mandate and the state Board of Education declined to require masks in schools as was proposed by state Superintendent Joy Hofmeister.

The White House task force had recommended a statewide mask mandate in each weekly report since early August.


The city of Norman is limiting restaurant and bar seating capacities on days when the University of Oklahoma has a home football game in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The City Council on Tuesday voted 7-1 to limit capacity to 75% and require patrons to be seated to be served.

The university previously banned on-campus tailgating and is limiting stadium capacity to about 25% of Oklahoma Memorial Stadium’s more than 86,000 seats.


The Oklahoma State Department of Health on Wednesday reported 65,929 confirmed virus cases and 863 deaths due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, increases of 876 cases and nine deaths from Tuesday. The actual number of cases is likely higher because many people haven’t been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

The health department reported 9,661 active virus cases and that 55,405 people have recovered.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and a cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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Trump Asks Reuters Reporter To Take Off Face Mask During White House Briefing


  • White House correspondent Jeff Mason asked about The Atlantic’s article on Trump when the exchange took place
  • Trump openly thanked two other correspondents who took their masks off before asking questions
  • Masks have been a point of contention with Trump since the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S.

President Trump found himself in an awkward back-and-forth with a reporter during a Labor Day press briefing over the reporter wearing a mask.

The reporter was Reuters’ White House correspondent Jeff Mason, who asked Trump about The Atlantic article alleging he made disparaging comments about U.S. soldiers who died during World War I. Trump asked Mason to remove his mask, saying he was “muffled” and couldn’t understand the question, leading to the awkward moment.

“Thank you, Mr. President. The issue of what happened when you were in France continues to be,” Mason said.

“You’re going to have to take that off,” Trump said, cutting Mason off. “Just – you can take it off. You’re – how many feet are you away?”

“I’ll speak a lot louder,” Mason said.

“Well, if you don’t take it off, you’re very muffled,” Trump responded. “So if you would take it off, it would be a lot easier.”

“I’ll just speak a lot louder,” Mason said. “Is that better?”

“It’s better,” Trump said. “Yeah. It’s better.”

While Trump regularly finds himself at odds with member of the press, it is the first time he appeared to take issue with one wearing a mask during a White House press briefing. This seemed to be reinforced when Trump openly thanked two other correspondents who took their masks off before asking their questions.

“You sound so clear, as opposed to everybody else, where they refuse,” Trump said to one correspondent.

It isn’t the first time Trump found himself the target of criticism over masks during the coronavirus pandemic. He is regularly seen without one, whether it’s in the White House, campaigning ahead of the 2020 election, or visiting other states to meet with their respective officials. One of the few times he was seen with one was in July after saying he was “all in” for masks after months of criticism for his apparent refusal to wear one.

Trump’s stance also bled over to many supporters who were seen at various events and rallies without masks.

Perhaps the most notable was the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota, where thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts packed the town and were regularly seen without masks. However, seven states were subsequently hit by coronavirus surges that health officials traced back to the rally. 

Some of the art US President Donald Trump brought back from Paris was put on display in the White House Oval Office Some of the art US President Donald Trump brought back from Paris was put on display in the White House Oval Office Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / POOL

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