21 de octubre de 2020
English - News

Trump briefly leaves hospital for in-car surprise visit to supporters outside

Washington, Oct 4 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump briefly left the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday to make a surprise in-car visit to greet supporters who had gathered outside, a decision that sparked criticism from medical officials, among others.

Trump, wearing a suit and a facemask and with the windows of the armored presidential SUV closed, greeted the people who had gathered outside the hospital where he has been treated for Covid-19 since last Friday, many of them holding signs with Trump's name and messages of support for the president.

Two Secret Service agents, also wearing facemasks, accompanied Trump in his vehicle during his brief sojourn.

The trip was not announced and not even the group of White House reporters who are regularly on hand to report on the president were advised of the visit in advance.

Trump announced his trip outside the hospital complex in a video posted on Twitter shortly after 5 pm, saying: "I also think we're going to pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots that we have out on the street. They've been out there for a long time and they've got Trump flags and they love our country."

"It's been a very interesting journey, I learned a lot about COVID," Trump said in his pre-recorded remarks. "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."

White House spokesman Judd Deere said Trump returned to his hospital suite after his "short, last-minute ride to wave to his supporters."

The president said that while he has been at Walter Reed he had the chance to meet with soldiers and emergency personnel, despite the fact that medical experts say that a Covid-19 patient should remain in complete isolation.

James Philips, the physician in charge of residents at Walter Reed, on Twitter harshly criticized Trump's decision to briefly leave the hospital, saying: "Every single person in the (hermetically sealed) 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."

Philips is also the chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University Emergency Medicine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that people sick with Covid-19 or who have recently come in contact with an infected person should refrain from all transportation options "that may put them in close contact with others."

The White House Correspondents Association issued a statement in which it criticized the president's team for not announcing Trump's SUV tour to reporters in advance.

"It is outrageous for the president to have left the hospital - even briefly - amid a health crisis without a protective pool present to ensure that the American people know where their president is and how he is doing," WHCA chief Zeke Miller, adding "Now more than ever, the American public deserves independent coverage of the president so they can be reliably informed about his health."

Trump entered Walter Reed Hospital on Friday afternoon after testing positive for the coronavirus and experiencing a drop in his blood oxygenation level, a situation in which doctors at the White House put him on supplemental oxygen.

Since that time, the president reportedly has improved, according to his medical team, and although he registered a second drop in blood oxygen level he has mostly experienced only slight symptoms of the sometimes deadly viral disease that has infected some seven million Americans and killed more than 200,000 in the US.

Doctors attending Trump said earlier on Sunday that the president might be able to be released from the hospital on Monday and continue his antiviral and steroid treatment at the White House.


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Trump may be released Mon.; new voter survey shows Biden's lead growing

Washington, Oct 4 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump could be released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday if his Covid-19 symptoms continue to improve and he remains mobile, with an adequate blood oxygenation level and no fever, Dr. Brian Garibaldi, one of the members of the military hospital's medical team, said Sunday.

Garibaldi said at a Sunday press conference at the hospital that if Trump maintains his activity level, mobility and continues to have no respiratory problems, he could be released on Monday.

"Our plan for today is to have him eat and drink, be up out of bed as much as possible, to be mobile," Garibaldi said.

"And, if he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is that we can plan a discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House where he can continue his treatment course," the doctor added.

Trump's personal physician, Sean Conley, said: "Since we spoke last, the president has continued to improve. As with any illness, there are frequent ups and downs over the course," adding that Trump was flown to Walter Reed on Friday after a "rapid progression" of his illness, during which his oxygen levels fell worryingly low and as a result of which he received supplemental oxygen at the White House.

Doctors explained that, besides continuing with the anti-viral treatment using the drug Remdesivir, Trump has begun receiving dexamethasone to prevent new episodes of falling oxygenation in his blood, although Conley said that at no time had the president's blood oxygen level fallen below 90 percent.

Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid that is used to prevent or treat the "cytokine storm" of immune response that is one of the body's most dangerous responses to Covid-19, especially in older patients, and Trump is 74 and overweight.

The president on Sunday will receive a third dose of Remdesivir in accord with a five-day treatment plan and last Friday he was given an antibody cocktail prepared by the pharmaceutical firm Regeneron.

Pulmonary specialist Dr. Sean Dooley said that the medical team is monitoring Trump's cardiac, liver and kidney function and their findings so far have been "normal."

Conley discussed Trump's medical progress since he was found to have become infected with the coronavirus last Thursday evening, after he created confusion on Saturday by suggesting that the president had been diagnosed with Covid-19 on Wednesday, a mistake that the White House soon corrected.

On Thursday night and early Friday morning, the president was feeling well and having only slight symptoms, but about midday on Friday his blood oxygen level fell under 94 percent and he had a high fever, whereupon doctors recommended that he take supplemental oxygen, Conley said.

The president has shown no difficulty breathing since Saturday and has not had a fever, and so doctors reiterated their optimism about the progression of his case.

Conley also added that lung scans performed on Trump had seen only the expected findings and showed nothing that caused concern.

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden broadened his lead over Trump among voters after the two men faced off in an acrimonious debate last week.

Biden, who served as vice president from 2009-2017 under President Barack Obama, now enjoys a 14-point lead over Trump, according to a voter survey published Sunday and performed after the Sept. 29 debate, but before the president tested positive for Covid-19 According to the poll conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, 53 percent of voters back Biden in the Nov. 3 vote, while 39 percent said they will support Trump.

Biden's lead has grown from 8 points a month ago to 14 points now, with a greater percentage of those surveyed saying that they think the Democrat performed better than Trump in last Tuesday's debate in Cleveland.

The survey also found that 49 percent of voters feel that Biden performed better in the debate, compared to 24 percent who thought Trump won the face-off, while 17 percent said that they didn't think either man won.

The debate was contentious and both men interrupted the other frequently, although Trump did so much more often than the former VP, mocking Biden and insulting him for always wearing a facemask, while the Democrat called the president a "clown."

However, 73 percent of those surveyed said that the debate did not change their minds on who they will vote for, while 19 percent said that they were more likely than before to vote for Biden and 9 percent said they were more likely to favor Trump after the debate.

The survey, with an error margin of about 3.5 percent, was conducted before it became known that Trump had become infected with the coronavirus, a situation that could affect his election chances in less than a month.

According to the average of surveys tabulated by RealClearPolitics, Biden is leading Trump in all the key states at this point, although in at least two states that lead is within the margin of error and so the race there is technically tied.

Although voter surveys measure the percentage of voters who say they back a certain candidate, the US presidential election is not decided on the basis of the popular vote but rather in the Electoral College, where states are allocated a certain number of electors based on their population and these electors generally must vote in accord with which candidate wins the statewide popular vote.



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