Trump was hospitalized on Friday after testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday

By Ashley Boucher
October 05, 2020 06:52 PM
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Donald Trump
| Credit: SAUL LOEB/Getty Images

Donald Trump has left the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to return to the White House, three days after being hospitalized for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Trump, 74, emerged from the hospital just after 6:30 pm Monday, walking without support but holding onto the handrail of the building's front steps.

The president did not stop to speak before getting into his motorcade, but gave cameras a thumbs-up and pumped his fist.

Trump ignored questions from reporters — including a journalist who asked the president if he is a "super-spreader" — and said "thank you" once through his face mask.

As he boarded Marine One, Trump offered a wave as he walked up the steps.

Donald Trump leaves the hospital
| Credit: SAUL LOEB/Getty Images

The president wore a mask as did members of the Secret Service tasked with protecting him. While some also wore gloves, none wore personal protective equipment.

Upon arriving at the White House, Trump walked up the steps of a rarely-used upper entrance and stood for a photo op, taking off his mask and putting it in his pocket, despite the fact that he is still contagious.

Trump then stood for several moments without a face covering, giving another thumbs-up and a salute before going inside.

Donald Trump arrives back at the White House
| Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/Getty Images

He was then seen filming at the entrance for some period after his arrival.

Trump announced on Twitter earlier Monday that he would be leaving the hospital. Trump added in the tweet that he was "feeling really good" after the weekend being treated by doctors at Walter Reed.

"Though he may not be entirely out of the woods yet, the team and I agree that all our evaluations — and most importantly, his clinical status — support the president’s safe return home,” the White House physician, Dr. Sean Conley, told reporters at a briefing outside the hospital earlier on Monday.

Conley said that, in the medical team's view, there was no longer any part of the president's treatment that he could not receive back at the White House.

Trump and Melania Trump both tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.

On Sunday, Trump said in a video message shared on Twitter that he "learned a lot about COVID" during his hospitalization.

"I learned it by really going to school, this is the real school," he said. "This isn't the let's-read-the-book-school. And I get it," Trump said. "I understand it. It's a very interesting thing, I'll be letting you know about it."

The message came shortly before Trump made a "surprise visit" to his supporters outside the hospital with a drive by the D.C. hospital in his presidential motorcade. The outing was widely criticized, considering Trump is positive for COVID-19 and put Secret Service members and anyone else who was near him at risk.

Just before leaving Walter Reed on Monday, Trump sent out a tweet promising to be back on the campaign trail "soon."

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