After battling COVID-19 at Walter Reed Military Medical Center over the past few days, President Donald Trump returned to the White House on Monday evening. As he made his way back to the White House, where he will continue to receive treatment for COVID-19, the president did wear a mask. However, once he made his way back to the White House and appeared on the balcony for a photo-op, he removed the cover even though he could still be contagious and experiencing symptoms related to the illness.
The president was discharged from the hospital early. Trump hardly spoke a word as he exited the hospital and did not answer questions from reporters, including one of whom asked whether he was a "superspreader" of the illness. However, he did share encouraging gestures as he walked by. As previously mentioned, the president did don a face mask as he left the medical facility. But, once the POTUS made his way to the balcony of the White House, Trump removed his mask in order to take part in a photo-op. Many have subsequently criticized this move, as the president is still likely contagious at this point and the removal of his mask could put others in his vicinity at risk of catching COVID-19.
Trump immediately took his mask off when he got back to the White House pic.twitter.com/WyIOUSb6Gc— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 5, 2020
The president originally took to Twitter on early Friday morning to share that both he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19. On Friday afternoon, he was admitted to Walter Reed Military Medical Center after he was said to be experiencing "mild symptoms." Only a few days after he was admitted to the hospital, he once again took to Twitter to update his followers on his condition. He wrote on Monday afternoon that he was "feeling really good." He also wrote that people should not be "afraid" of the coronavirus and to not let it "dominate your life."
In his message, he said that he would be discharged from Walter Reed later that evening. Just as he wrote, he was later discharged and traveled back to the White House. It is unclear how he will continue to conduct his duties as president with his diagnosis. Many took issue with the president's words in that tweet, particularly as they seemingly downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic. According to Time, as of right now in the United States, there have been over 7,000,000 positive COVID-19 cases and over 200,000 deaths associated with the illness.