Supporters of President Donald Trump have been gathered outside of Walter Reed Military Medical Center throughout the weekend, as the president remains inside being treated for COVID-19. Footage from the scene shows supporters waving flags, chanting, honking horns and blasting music. On Sunday morning one group was there bright and early blaring "Proud to be an American," among other patriotic songs.
NBC News' White House correspondent Kelly O'Donnell shared a video from outside Walter Reed on Sunday morning showing Trump supporters playing "Proud to be an American." She noted that they also played Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" — a critical commentary on the Vietnam War. Supporters have been there throughout the weekend, at times even disrupting the coverage of news crews on the scene with their noise. Trump himself took note of their presence in a tweet on Sunday afternoon.
9am on a Sunday morning and “Born in the USA” and Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American” blaring outside the hospital where the president is being treated for covid. pic.twitter.com/Elmzx2o6FB— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) October 4, 2020
"I really appreciate all of the fans and supporters outside of the hospital," he wrote. "The fact is, they really love our Country and are seeing how we are MAKING IT GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE!"
Many commenters throughout the weekend have questioned whether it is conducive to a hospital to have this level of non-stop noise going on right outside the doors. Moreover, many have pointed out the extreme risk of spreading the coronavirus pandemic among the demonstrators. These crowds have occasionally been met with protesters, there to denounce the president and demand more information on his condition.
Information on Trump's condition has been scant and unreliable throughout the weekend. He announced that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19 late on Thursday night, but there is evidence to suggest that he was infected for days beforehand — with or without knowing it. Trump was then sick throughout the day on Friday, receiving supplemental oxygen therapy before he ultimately needed to be hospitalized that evening.
Trump's doctors have come under fire for their updates since then. On Saturday morning, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley gave a press conference on the front steps of Walter Reed, refusing to answer a question about supplemental oxygen. An hour later, the Associated Press reported that Trump had received this treatment. On Sunday morning, Conley gave another conference, claiming that he had feared answering the question would somehow make Trump's condition worse.
Trump remains in the hospital at the time of this writing. His doctors have suggested he may be discharged as early as Monday, but no official timeline has been laid out yet.