Donald Trump has checked out of the military hospital where he has been treated for coronavirus and returned to the White House.
In a moment that was highly choreographed for waiting TV cameras, the President left through the brass doors of Walter Reed military hospital, before walking down the steps towards a waiting motorcade.
Lights were erected in front of the hospital steps to ensure he could be seen in his show of ‘strength’, timed to coincide with US evening news bulletins.
He flashed a thumbs up gesture towards waiting press, but did not answer shouted questions, which included “Mr President, how many of your staff are sick?” and “do you think you’re a super-spreader?”
Arriving at the White House, President Trump walked up to the first floor of the White House by the exterior steps, before removing his cloth mask and saluting the helicopter as it departed.
He then turned to walk back inside the White House, where various staff were visible, without putting a mask on.
He then re-emerged to film a video message in the doorway of the Blue Room time.
The President’s decision to return to the White House was met with derision by medical experts.
Others said his words were a complete disrespect to the 210,000 Americans who had lost their lives due to the virus.
Before departing the Walter Reed Medical Centre, he tweeted: “I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Cente. Feeling really good. Don’t be afraid of Covid.
“Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs and knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago.”
Immediately his tweet was attacked by medical professionals.
Dr Eugene Gu wrote: “Don’t be afraid of Covid? Not every American has access to the top therapeutics and doctors with the most advanced equipment available to the President of the United States.
“You feel better than you did 20 years ago? That’s because of your dexamethasone high that resembles mania.”
He added: “It’s beyond irresponsible for the President of the United States to use his one experience with COVID-19 and extrapolate that to millions of people who are suffering. More than 200,000 Americans have already died.
Many more are in peril and have every reason to take precautions.”
Dexamethasone is a widely available steroid drug that was given to Trump and has been found to reduce the risk of death in seriously ill coronavirus patients by about a third.
According to clinical trial results hailed last week as a “major breakthrough”.
The drug did not appear to help “less severely ill patients.”
Insiders said the decision to leave hospital was “Trump’s and Trump’s alone”.
His campaign team are extremely concerned if his condition deteriorates how it would look to voters so close to next month’s election.
One source told the Mirror: “It all about the PR not the ER for the President.”
Confusion and contradictory statements have rained ever since Trump was admitted to hospital.
On Saturday his medical team painted a picture of the President’s improving health only for minutes later his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to say the next 48 hours were critical.
He cited Trump’s worrying levels of oxygen.
Meadows break from the Presidential line infuriated his boss seeing the US leader to post a video hours later contradicting Meadows.
Insiders also claim it is what pushed him to undertake Sunday’s drive-by.
White House sources were last night questioning if Meadows would survive as chief of staff given his comments on Trump’s poor health.