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COVID-hit Trump back in hospital after drive to greet supporters

October 05, 2020 08:03 AM
US President Trump's motorcade drives by supporters outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, October 4, 2020

- Doctors say Trump takes steroid dexamethasone after oxygen dip

- Joe Biden focuses on coronavirus response across the US, tested negative

Bethesda, October 4, 2020
President Trump sent the mainstream press and other foes into freak-out mode by making a surprise visit to supporters outside Walter Reed hospital, with critics saying the stunt proved he still wasn't taking Covid-19 seriously.

Trump was driven outside the facility on Sunday so he could wave to a group of supporters on the street in a move critics derided as a dangerous political stunt.

Video showed Trump, wearing a black mask, waving from the back seat of a black four-wheel drive with two men – also masked in the front seats.

“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, ” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement. “Appropriate measures” had been taken, he added.

"He still does not seem to understand the seriousness of a highly contagious and deadly disease, " CNN's Maeve Reston wrote, calling the incident a "photo op." She went on to call the White House's handling of Trump's Covid-19 diagnosis and subsequent treatment "a textbook example of how not to handle a deadly virus."

The White House press pool was already cranky on Sunday, after Trump's doctors and his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, gave apparently conflicting information on the president's condition on Saturday and failed to disclose that he had been treated with supplemental oxygen on Friday.

Sunday's press briefing was more detailed, but reporters were hit with what CNN called "jarring" information: statements by Trump's doctors saying his condition was improving to the point that he will be released from the hospital as soon as Monday.

Trump was given oxygen 'for about one hour', but could be discharged from hospital as early as Monday, president's physician says

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Meanwhile, After President Trump tests positive, presidential candidate Joe Biden focuses on coronavirus response across the US.

With President Donald Trump undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at a military hospital, Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s campaign is looking to keep its focus on the nation’s response to the pandemic in the final month before the presidential election.

Former Vice President Biden, who tested negative on Friday, three days after debating with Trump, has repeatedly wished the president a speedy recovery.

But Biden and his aides have used the president’s positive test to underline a consistent campaign message: Biden would handle the pandemic better than Trump.

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