Supporters Cheer Trump’s Car Ride; Medical Professionals Call It ‘Reckless’

Health concerns center on the risks to the Secret Service agents present in the hermetically sealed vehicle with a COVID-positive Donald Trump. The president opted to leave Walter Reed Medical Center for a few minutes Sunday night to wave to gathered supporters from the presidential SUV.

The Wall Street Journal:
Trump Exits Quarantine In SUV To Greet Supporters 

President Trump briefly left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he is being treated for Covid-19, and waved to supporters from a presidential SUV, departing from government health guidelines designed to reduce the risk of spreading infection. On Sunday evening, the president, traveling in a large black SUV with closed windows and wearing what appeared to be a black cloth mask, waved and gave thumbs-up signs to dozens of supporters who gathered on a sidewalk outside the hospital grounds in Bethesda, Md. There appeared to be at least two other individuals in the SUV with Mr. Trump. One of them could be seen wearing a medical gown and a medical-grade mask. (Restuccia, 10/4)

‘That Should Never Have Happened’: Inside Trump’s Walter Reed Parade

It was an image concocted by the President himself and the very tight group of aides who have accompanied him to Walter Reed, including chief of staff Mark Meadows and social media adviser Dan Scavino, a person familiar with the matter said. They hoped it might reassure Americans that Trump remains both hale and in command after what he deemed exaggerated news coverage of his condition and — in particular — outsized prognostications he planned to transfer power to Vice President Mike Pence. (Liptak, 10/5)

USA Today:
‘Imagine Having A Literal COVID Parade’: Critics React After Trump Leaves Walter Reed To See Supporters

Doctors, critics, and other Twitter users reacted after President Donald Trump ventured outside Walter Reed Hospital Sunday night to wave at supporters, calling the move “reckless” and saying he endangered the Secret Service members riding in the vehicle with him. Dr. James P. Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed, tweeted that everybody in the vehicle with Trump should be quarantined for 14 days. “They might get sick. They may die,” he tweeted. “For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.” (Behrmann, 10/4)

The Hill:
White House Says ‘Appropriate Precautions’ Were Taken For Trump’s Outing To See Supporters 

The White House on Sunday night insisted that proper precautions were taken ahead of President Trump’s motorcade visit outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he is being treated for COVID-19. “Appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the President and all those supporting it, including PPE. The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do,” White House spokesman Judd Deere told reporters. (Seipel, 10/4)

The Secret Service weighs in —

The Washington Post:
Trump’s Drive Outside Walter Reed Hospital Criticized By Secret Service Members, Doctors

Current and former Secret Service agents and medical professionals were aghast Sunday night at President Trump’s trip outside the hospital where he is being treated for the coronavirus, saying the president endangered those inside his SUV for a publicity stunt. As the backlash grew, multiple aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations also called Trump’s evening outing an unnecessary risk — but said it was not surprising. Trump had said he was bored in the hospital, advisers said. He wanted to show strength after his chief of staff offered a grimmer assessment of his health than doctors, according to campaign and White House officials. (Dawsey, Leonnig and Knowles, 10/4)

USA Today:
Can Secret Service Stop President’s Risky Behavior?

Patricia Beckford Acheson can empathize with the Secret Service detail protecting President Donald Trump. Acheson was among the first women assigned to the agency’s permanent protection detail, spending more than three years protecting then-Vice President George H.W. Bush in the early 1980s.”Our biggest fear was the lone assassin, but things have changed so much,” the retired agent told USA TODAY. “Now they are dealing with organized terrorism and with COVID. The threats against a president nowadays are mind-boggling.” (Bacon and Johnson, 10/4)

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