Trump exposed his Secret Service detail to coronavirus by forcing them to ride with him in an SUV this week.
Donald Trump on Monday falsely blamed the media for his decision to leave his hospital room to take a joy ride past his supporters — a move that's been panned by figures across the political spectrum as a reckless action that risked the lives of the Secret Service agents who accompanied him.
Trump made the remarks as he announced he would be leaving the hospital on Monday evening. No one should be "afraid of Covid," Trump claimed.
The disease that has killed nearly 210,000 people in the United States to date.
"It is reported that the Media is upset because I got into a secure vehicle to say thank you to the many fans and supporters who were standing outside of the hospital for many hours, and even days, to pay their respect to their President," Trump tweeted Monday afternoon. "If I didn’t do it, Media would say RUDE!!!"
Medical professionals and current Secret Service agents were critical of Trump's joy ride, saying he needlessly risked the lives of his protective detail, who were trapped in close quarters with Trump inside his SUV.
"That should never have happened," an unnamed secret service agent told CNN. "The frustration with how we're treated when it comes to decisions on this illness goes back before this though. We're not disposable."
Dr. James P. Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where Trump is currently hospitalized, called Trump's move "unnecessary" and "political theater."
"That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack," Phillips tweeted. "The risk of COVID19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play."
According to the New York Times, letting Trump ride past his supporters was a compromise with his doctors, as Trump wanted to be discharged from the hospital against the advice of the medical professionals treating him.
"The president had wanted to be discharged from Walter Reed yesterday, but doctors weren't okay with it. So the car ride became the compromise," the Times' Maggie Haberman tweeted Monday morning.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.