Trump trip from hospital to wave at fans endangers others, doctor warns

Donald Trump briefly left the military hospital where he is being treated for Covid-19 in a motorcade on Sunday to wave to supporters gathered outside, sparking criticism that he was putting others at risk for a political stunt.

Trump was captured on video waving from the back seat of a black SUV Sunday evening, wearing a mask, as crowds cheered and waved American flags and pro-Trump banners outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in the Washington suburb of Bethesda, Maryland.

Two people could be seen in the vehicle's front seats.

Patients who test positive for Covid-19 are generally required to quarantine for 14 days, the typical incubation period for the coronavirus to avoid infecting others. The disease has killed more than 200,000 Americans.

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BETHESDA, MD - OCTOBER 04: A supporter of President Donald Trump cheers as supporters gather outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after the President was admitted for treatment of COVID-19 on October 4, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland. The President announced via Twitter early Friday morning that he had tested positive. Numerous other prominent GOP figures and members of Congress have also tested positive in the last few days. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
BETHESDA, MD - OCTOBER 04: Supporters of President Donald Trump honk their horn and wave a campaign flag as they drive past Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where the President was admitted for treatment of COVID-19 on October 4, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland. The President announced via Twitter early Friday morning that he had tested positive. Numerous other prominent GOP figures and members of Congress have also tested positive in the last few days. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, U.S. â OCTOBER 04: People hold a Back the Blue NY Rally on October 4, 2020 at Hauppauge in New York. Encouraged people to vote Republican and to pray for the health of President Donald Trump who fell ill with COVID-19. (Photo by Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump's sand sculpture is seen with their health recovery message as it is creating by sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik at the Bay of Bengal Sea's eastern coast beach at Puri, 65 km away from the eastern Indian state Odisha's capital city Bhubaneswar,on October 04, 2020. (Photo by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
04 October 2020, US, Bethesda: A group of supporters of US President Donald Trump, stands with a Trump flag opposite the entrance to the Walter Reed Military Hospital. Donald Trump, who was infected with the coronavirus together with his wife Melania, was transferred to the hospital on Friday. Photo: Can Merey/dpa (Photo by Can Merey/picture alliance via Getty Images)
04 October 2020, US, Bethesda: John Maxwell, a supporter of US President Donald Trump, stands in front of the entrance to the Walter Reed Military Hospital with a sign saying "DONALD TRUMP is the best president in USA history". Donald Trump, who was infected with the corona virus together with his wife Melania, was transferred to the hospital on Friday. Photo: Can Merey/dpa (Photo by Can Merey/picture alliance via Getty Images)
BETHESDA, MD - OCTOBER 04: Supporters of President Donald Trump dance and cheer in the bed of a pickup truck as they drive past Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where the President was admitted for treatment of COVID-19 on October 4, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland. The President announced via Twitter early Friday morning that he had tested positive. Numerous other prominent GOP figures and members of Congress have also tested positive in the last few days. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
BETHESDA, MD - OCTOBER 04: A man poses for a photo next to a cardboard cutout of First Lady Melania Trump outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where President Donald Trump and the First Lady where admitted for treatment of COVID-19 on October 4, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland. The President announced via Twitter early Friday morning that he had tested positive. Numerous other prominent GOP figures and members of Congress have also tested positive in the last few days. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
BETHESDA, MD - OCTOBER 04: Supporters of President Donald Trump honk their horn and wave the national flag as they drive past Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where the President was admitted for treatment of COVID-19 on October 4, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland. The President announced via Twitter early Friday morning that he had tested positive. Numerous other prominent GOP figures and members of Congress have also tested positive in the last few days. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
Supporters of the US President, who is being treated for Covid-19, rally for his reelection in Glendale, California, on October 4, 2020. (Photo by DAVID MCNEW / AFP) (Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images)
People standing near Armenian flags cheer as supporters of the US President, who is being treated for Covid-19, rally for his reelection in Glendale, California, on October 4, 2020. (Photo by DAVID MCNEW / AFP) (Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images)
This aerial view shows supporters of the US President, who is being treated for Covid-19, taking part in a caravan as they rally for his reelection in Glendale, California, on October 4, 2020. (Photo by DAVID MCNEW / AFP) (Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images)
BETHESDA, MD - OCTOBER 04: A supporters of President Donald Trump holds up four fingers on each hand indicating four more years as they drive past Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after the President was admitted for treatment of COVID-19 on October 4, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland. The President announced via Twitter early Friday morning that he had tested positive. Numerous other prominent GOP figures and members of Congress have also tested positive in the last few days. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
BETHESDA, MD - OCTOBER 04: Supporters of President Donald Trump gather outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after the President was admitted for treatment of COVID-19 on October 4, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland. The President announced via Twitter early Friday morning that he had tested positive. Numerous other prominent GOP figures and members of Congress have also tested positive in the last few days. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
BETHESDA, MD - OCTOBER 04: Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer as they drive past Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after the President was admitted for treatment of COVID-19 on October 4, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland. The President announced via Twitter early Friday morning that he had tested positive. Numerous other prominent GOP figures and members of Congress have also tested positive in the last few days. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
BETHESDA, MD - OCTOBER 04: Supporters of President Donald Trump gather outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after the President was admitted for treatment of COVID-19 on October 4, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland. The President announced via Twitter early Friday morning that he had tested positive. Numerous other prominent GOP figures and members of Congress have also tested positive in the last few days. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
BETHESDA, MD - OCTOBER 04: Supporters of President Donald Trump gather outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after the President was admitted for treatment of COVID-19 on October 4, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland. The President announced via Twitter early Friday morning that he had tested positive. Numerous other prominent GOP figures and members of Congress have also tested positive in the last few days. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
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Trump tested positive on Thursday and did not disclose his infection until the early hours of Friday morning.

Shortly before the brief ride, Trump posted a video on Twitter saying he would "pay a little surprise to the some of the great patriots we have out on the street."

White House spokesman Judd Deere described the drive as a "short, last-minute motorcade ride to wave to his supporters" and said Trump quickly returned to his hospital suite.

Deere said "appropriate precautions were taken" before the ride to protect the President and those supporting him. "The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do," he said.

Criticism of the ride was swift, including from an attending physician at Walter Reed.

Senator Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat, added that he was praying for the health of Trump's Secret Service security detail: "They understood the risk inherent in the job, but they shouldn't have to contemplate that the risk is coming from the protectee."

The White House Correspondents Association issued a statement saying it was "outrageous" that Trump left the hospital without a press pool present. "The American public deserves independent coverage of the president so they can be reliably informed about his health."

There were some messages of support. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, reacted to news of the motorcade by tweeting here "Looks like ⁦@realDonaldTrump is making a swift recovery from Covid. So many prayers answered."

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