DCR Health & Politics: Trump returned to White House downplaying virus that hospitalized him. ☕☕☕

Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves coronavirus and Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump returned to the White House from the hospital late Monday. He claimed that he had recovered from the novel coronavirus and that people should not be afraid of a disease that has killed more than 209,000 Americans.

Trump’s comments a few hours before leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Marylamd again downplaying the coronavirus despite evidence that White House decisions to flout public health guidelines and engage in practices viewed as reckless have had huge consequences in the West Wing.

More than a dozen White House officials have tested positive for the coronavirus recently. It’s steadily increasing total that grew again Monday to include press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. How the return of an infected president to such a setting could be managed safely was one of several questions left unanswered Monday as Trump’s medical team briefed reporters about his condition.

The transformation of the White House into a petri dish of a deadly pathogen has done little to change the approach of an administration that has been determined to downplay the coronavirus for months. Trump used his personal experience with the disease which twice knocked his oxygen levels down and required him to be hospitalized and injected with several drugs to again play down its severity.

“Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life,” Trump tweeted Monday afternoon, three days after he was transported to Walter Reed hospital for treatment. “We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”

Trump has given little indication that he plans to change his behavior if or when he is told by doctors that he can resume normal activities.

When he returned to the White House on Monday evening, the contagious president climbed up the stairs rather than use the usual ground level entrance and posed for pictures and after a few seconds, he reached up with his right hand, took off his mask, put it in his pocket and resumed flashing thumbs up. He then turned and entered the building.

Aides said the Diplomatic Reception Room and Map Room are being prepared working spaces for Trump at the White House, where many staff members have opted to work from home and even before Trump’s return, several officials have cleared out of the building amid ongoing news reports of lawmakers, aides, visitors and residence staffers who have tested positive for the coronavirus after spending time in the White House in recent days.

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