Press play to listen to this article
By ALEX WICKHAM
Send tips here | Subscribe for free | Listen to Playbook and view in your browser
Good Monday morning. It is one hell of a news day.
SUV, PPE, WTF: There is general bewilderment Stateside at the images of U.S. President Donald Trump — who still has COVID-19 — waving to supporters outside the Walter Reed Medical Center from his armored SUV alongside a PPE-clad driver and several secret service agents.
THE BACKLASH: Dr. James P. Phillips, a doctor at Walter Reed, tweeted: “Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity. That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack. The risk of COVID-19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding.”
WHAT TRUMP SAYS: In a video from hospital, the president said he wanted to give the “great patriots” supporting him a “little surprise.” He also talked about learning from the virus: “It’s been a very interesting journey — I learned a lot about COVID-19. I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. This isn’t the ‘let’s read the book’ school. And I get it. And I understand it. And it’s a very interesting thing, and I’m going to be letting you know about it.”
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Trump’s physicians yesterday painted a conflicting picture of his health. They acknowledged he is ill enough to have needed oxygen and steroid treatments, but also said they might let him go