'This is insanity': Walter Reed doc slams for putting 'lives at risk' for ...

A doctor at the Walter Reed medical center where Donald is currently being treated for COVID-19 has described the president's decision to go on a drive to wave at supporters as 'insanity'.

Dr James Phillips was angered by Trump's Sunday drive

Dr James Phillips was angered by 's Sunday drive

Dr James Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University's Emergency Medicine division, and a COVID-19 consultant specializing on how to reopen safely, condemned the president's Sunday afternoon drive.

He said it was dangerous and reckless, in comments which quickly went viral - gaining more than 100,000 'likes' and 40,000 retweets in the first hour.   

'Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential “drive-by” just now has to be quarantined for 14 days,' he pointed out. 

'They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.'

He said that the design of the presidential vehicle, specifically modified to protect the passengers from attacks, made the drive even more dangerous.

'That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack,' he continued. 

'The risk of COVID19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. 

'The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play.' 

Dr James Phillips, a Walter Reed doctor, reacted with anger to the president's jaunt on Sunday night

Dr James Phillips, a Walter Reed doctor, reacted with anger to the president's jaunt on Sunday night

President Donald on Sunday made a last-minute, surprise visit to his supporters outside Walter Reed Medical Center, briefing leaving his hospital room to thank the cheering loyalists.

The president was in a suit, but no protective equipment beyond his face mask.

In the front passenger seat was a person wearing a gown, face mask and face shield.

It was unclear whether the driver was similarly protected. 

The president went into the hospital Friday evening after testing positive for the coronavirus. 

A second doctor, Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, echoed Dr Phillips' condemnation.

'By taking a joy ride outside Walter Reed the president is placing his Secret Service detail at grave risk,' he said. 

'In the hospital when we go into close contact with a COVID patient we dress in full PPE: Gown, gloves, N95, eye protection, hat. This is the height of irresponsibility.' 

And Dr Craig Spencer, an ER doctor who survived Ebola and is currently director of global health in emergency medicine at Columbia University, was shocked at the president's 'joyride'. 

'Moments after stating “I learned a lot about COVID”, the President takes a joyride in an enclosed space with presumably #COVID19 negative people, all while on experimental medications,' he said. 

NBC News' Peter Alexander said on Sunday night that he had asked why Melania was not visiting her husband, and was told it was because she did not want anyone else to become infected.

'Reminder: A White House official, on Saturday, told me the First Lady would not be visiting at Walter Reed because “she has COVID and that would expose the agents who would drive her there,”' he tweeted.  

Dr Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, was equally unimpressed

Dr Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, was equally unimpressed

Dr Craig Spencer, an ER doctor in New York and director of global health in emergency medicine at Columbia, was shocked

Dr Craig Spencer, an ER doctor in New York and director of global health in emergency medicine at Columbia, was shocked

The White House said the president made a short trip and then returned to the presidential suite inside the hospital. 

'President took a short, last-minute motorcade ride to wave to his supporters outside and has now returned to the Presidential Suite inside Walter Reed,' White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement. 

'Appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the President and all those supporting it, including PPE. The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.'

President Trump briefly left his hospital room at Walter Reed Medical Center to thank supporters lined up outside the hospital

President briefly left his hospital room at Walter Reed Medical Center to thank supporters lined up outside the hospital

Trump was driven by his supporters where he waved at them from the SUV and he wore a face mask during the short trip

was driven by his supporters where he waved at them from the SUV and he wore a face mask during the short trip

The White House press corps issued a statement, condemning the administration for not keeping them informed of his whereabouts.

They had not been warned that the president was about to leave the hospital, breaking the usual protocol of keeping the pool reporters informed. 

'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,” the White House Correspondents' Association said in a statement. 

'Now more than ever, the American public deserves independent coverage of the president so they can be reliably informed about his health.' 

A crowd 's supporters gathered outside the Bethesda, Maryland, hospital - and many were not wearing face masks.

People wore 'Make America Great Again' paraphernalia, waved campaign signs and hoisted Americans flags.

One woman waved a 'we [heart] u Mr. sign' while another man waved a 'We [heart] ' sign.

The president posted a video to his Twitter account shortly before his visit outside, indicating he was about to make the trip.

He also said he's been visiting soldiers at the military hospital and has learned a lot about COVID, which has infected more than seven million Americans. 

Trump supporters waved American flags and Make America Great Again campaign signs outside of Walter Reed hospital

supporters waved American flags and Make America Great Again campaign signs outside of Walter Reed hospital

Trump surprised them Sunday night with a brief visit, waving from the SUV as it drove past

surprised them Sunday night with a brief visit, waving from the SUV as it drove past

The crowds have gathered outside the hospital to cheer and shout their support to Trump

The crowds have gathered outside the hospital to cheer and shout their support to

One supporter waved a 'we [heart] Trump' sign

One supporter waved a 'we [heart] ' sign

Many of the supporters did not wear face masks

Many of the supporters did not wear face masks

He started his short remarks by thanking the medical personnel taking care of him and added he has 'gotten to meet some of the soldiers.'

The president did not say what precautions were taken for his meetings.  

'I also think we're going to pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots,' he said, hinting to his outside visit. 

'They've got flags and they love our country so I'm not telling anybody but you but I'm about to make a little surprise visit so perhaps I'll get there before you get to see me.'

He said he had learned a lot about the coronavirus since he was flown by helicopter to hospital on Friday. 

'It's been a very interesting journey. I learned a lot about COVID. I learned by really going to school. This is the real school,' he said. 

'In the meantime, we love the USA and we love what's happening. Thank you.'

The president's doctors said Sunday that he could be discharged from Walter Reed as early as Monday.

's top physician said he was given a steroid and put on oxygen, as a treatment for COVID-19.

'Our plan for today is to have him to eat and drink, be up out of bed as much as possible, to be mobile,' Dr. Brian Garibaldi, one of the doctor's on 's team, said. 

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

He also revealed that would continue taking doses of Remdesivir, a broad-spectrum antiviral medication, and dexamethasone, a steroid, whether he remains at Walter Reed or is transferred to the White House.  

Pressed about the conflicting information he and the White House released the previous day, the president's top doctor, Navy Commander Sean Conley, acknowledged that he had tried to present a rosy description of of the president's condition.

'I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude of the team, that the president, that his course of illness has had. Didn't want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction,' Conley said. 

'And in doing so, came off like we're trying to hide something, which wasn't necessarily true. The fact of the matter is that he's doing really well.'   

tweeted Sunday afternoon, writing: 'I really appreciate all of the fans and supporters outside of the hospital. The fact is, they really love our Country and are seeing how we are MAKING IT GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE!' 

Donald Trump's doctors revealed Sunday that they treated the president with a steroid and put him on oxygen Saturday as they were concerned over the rapid progression of the virus

Donald 's doctors revealed Sunday that they treated the president with a steroid and put him on oxygen Saturday as they were concerned over the rapid progression of the virus

'If he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is that we can plan for a discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House where he can continue his treatment course,' Garibaldi said

'If he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is that we can plan for a discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House where he can continue his treatment course,' Garibaldi said

Physician to the President Dr. Sean Conley, a Navy Commander, was forced to explain during the briefing Sunday that there was some confusion over Trump's condition because Chief of Staff Mark Meadow's comments were 'misconstrued'

Physician to the President Dr. Sean Conley, a Navy Commander, was forced to explain during the briefing Sunday that there was some confusion over 's condition because Chief of Staff Mark Meadow's comments were 'misconstrued'

Meadows v. Conley: Meadows rubbed his forehead Sunday (left) as Conley spoke to reporters outside Walter Reed. 'The president's vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We're still not on a clear path to a full recovery,' Meadows told reporters anonymously and it was later revealed he was the source of the remarks

The doctors gave their second update in two days on Trump's condition as questions emerged over conflicting statements

The doctors gave their second update in two days on 's condition as questions emerged over conflicting statements

WHAT IS DEXAMETHASONE?

Oxford University researchers in June announced steroid drug dexamethasone — which costs just over $3 for a course of treatment — cut the risk of death by up to 35 per cent for infected patients on ventilators and by a fifth for anyone needing oxygen at any point.

Following the news World Health Organization (WHO) bosses said they will update its Covid-19 treatment guidance to include dexamethasone.

The WHO wrote: 'It was tested in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in the United Kingdom’s national clinical trial RECOVERY and was found to have benefits for critically ill patients.

'According to preliminary findings shared with WHO (and now available as a preprint), for patients on ventilators, the treatment was shown to reduce mortality by about one third, and for patients requiring only oxygen, mortality was cut by about one fifth.' 

It did not appear to help less ill patients.

Researchers estimated that the drug would prevent one death for every eight patients treated while on breathing machines and one for every 25 patients on extra oxygen alone. 

The steroid drug is a type of anti-inflammatory medicine used to treat a wide-range of conditions.

It is given via an injection or once-a-day tablet and is sold under the brand names Ozurdex and Baycadron. 

In coronavirus patients, the steroid reduces inflammation in the lungs triggered by an overreaction by the immune system.

One in 10 symptomatic Covid-19 patients are thought to suffer from the nasty symptom, known as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). 

ARDS causes the immune system to become overactive and attack healthy cells in the lungs.

This makes breathing difficult and the body eventually struggles to get enough oxygen to vital organs. 

Dexamethasone was first made in 1957 and was approved for medical use in 1961.

The steroid is also used to treat  conditions that cause inflammation, conditions related to immune system activity, and hormone deficiency.

These include:

allergic reactions rheumatoid arthritis  psoriasis  lupus eczema   flare-ups of intestinal disease, such as ulcerative colitis  multiple sclerosis pre-treatment for chemotherapy to reduce inflammation and side effects from cancer medications adrenal insufficiency (a condition where the adrenal glands don’t produce enough hormones)

Dexamethasone is known to cause a number of mild to moderate side effects, including vomiting, heartburn, anxiety, high blood pressure, muscle weakness and insomnia.  

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Conley, a Navy Commander and physician to the president, revealed during the briefing that was treated with the steroid dexamethasone after a drop in oxygen levels on Saturday.

'Over the course of his illness, the president has experienced two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen saturation. We debated the reasons for this and whether we'd even intervene,' he said. 

'As a determination of the team, based predominantly on the timeline for the diagnosis, that we initiate dexamethasone.' 

The physician then detailed the timeline of 's treatment and the decision Friday to move him to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center just hours after the president announced that he and first lady Melania tested positive for coronavirus. 

'Thursday night into Friday morning when I left the bedside, the president was doing well with only mild symptoms and his oxygen was in the high 90's. 

'Late Friday morning when I returned to the bedside, president had a high fever and his oxygen level was transiently dipping below 94 per cent,' Conley said.

'Given these two developments, I was concerned for possible rapid progression of the illness,' he continued. 'I recommended the president try some supplemental oxygen.'

Conley said was 'very adamant that he didn't need it. Was not short of breath. He was tired, had the fever, and that was about it.'

He said after a minute of oxygen, 's levels were back up above 95 per cent – but said that he kept the president's on the measure for about an hour.

Conley explained that the president's oxygen level did not dip into the 80's and reiterated that he was up and about shortly after the 'transient' episode.

Meadows received backlash Saturday after it appeared his comments on 's condition contradicted others' assessments, including the president's.

'The president's vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We're still not on a clear path to a full recovery,' Meadows told reporters anonymously and it was later revealed he was the source of the remarks.

Meadows' comments came just after a White House team of doctors said that 's condition was improving and that he was already talking about returning to the White House.

One doctor said told them, 'I feel like I could walk out of here today.'

In an update Saturday, Conley wrote: 'This evening he completed his second dose of Remdesivir without complication. 

'He remains fever-free and off supplemental oxygen with a saturation level between 96% and 98% all day.

'He spent most of the afternoon conducting business, and has been up and moving about the medical suite without difficulty. 

'While not yet out of the woods, the team remains cautiously optimistic.

'The plan for tomorrow is to continue observation in between doses of remdesivir, closely monitoring his clinical status while fully supporting his conduct of Presidential duties.'

Several hours later, Deputy White House Press Secretary Judd Deere posted a picture showing working into the night from the hospital.

The new comments from the president's medical team on Sunday comes as 's campaign advisers Stephen Miller and Steve Cortes claimed Sunday the president is eager to get back to campaigning even after Conley said Saturday he is not yet 'out of the woods.' 

Miller, the campaign's senior adviser, said he spoke to recently and said the president told him 'he's going to defeat this virus… and our campaign is going to defeat this virus.'

'Once he gets out of the hospital, he's ready to get back to the campaign trail,' Miller told NBC's Chuck Todd during an interview on 'Meet the Press' Sunday morning. 'He sounded pretty energetic.'

'But he said something else that I thought that was important too,' Miller said, 'and that was to be careful, and that was to remind folks to wash their hands, use hand sanitizer, make sure that if you can't socially distance, distance to wear a mask. And I thought that was a pretty important message to send and a reminder to the rest of the country.' 

Cortes, another senior campaign adviser, reiterated the president's fitness during an interview with Chris Wallace on 'Fox News Sunday.'

'He's doing well,' Cortes attested.  

'We spoke to the president yesterday, we meaning senior campaign staff,' Cortes said. 'He was as upbeat and assertive as he's ever been.'

He added: 'This president is going to recover, we are highly confident of that.'

How Mark Meadows infuriated by telling reporters that his 'vitals are very concerning' in off-the-record health update

Chief of Staff Mark Meadows' revelation to reporters that Donald 's 'vitals are very concerning' reportedly angered the president and prompted him to post an upbeat video update on his condition Saturday. 

The New York Times claimed that people close to the situation said that was infuriated by the comments and acted to counteract the perception that he was very sick.    

The president uploaded the four-minute video to his Twitter page on Saturday night in which he said he was 'much better' and fighting coronavirus, as his physician gave a optimistic update on his symptoms. 

Yet earlier in the day, Meadows was caught asking to go off the record with White House reporters as an 'anonymous' source revealed the true extent of the president's condition.  

'The president's vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We're still not on a clear path to a full recovery,' Meadows told reporters on the initial condition that he not be identified. 

He was later named as the source of the quote.  

Chief of Staff Mark Meadows' revelation to reporters that Donald Trump's 'vitals are very concerning' reportedly angered the president and prompted him to post an upbeat video update on his condition Saturday

Chief of Staff Mark Meadows' revelation to reporters that Donald 's 'vitals are very concerning' reportedly angered the president and prompted him to post an upbeat video update on his condition Saturday

Meadows' comments came just after a White House team of doctors said that 's condition was improving and that he was already talking about returning to the White House. 

One doctor said told them: 'I feel like I could walk out of here today.' 

Meadows did not clarify the discrepancy in his comments. 

A adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity said the president was not happy to learn of Meadows' initial remarks, according to Reuters.  

Hours later, the president posted a video from the hospital where he is battling Covid-19, saying he was improving and would be 'back soon' - but acknowledging the crucial coming days would be 'the real test.

attempted to reassure the public that he was not suffering severe coronavirus symptoms and called his treatment 'miracles from God' as he worked to counteract Meadows' comments. 

'I came here, wasn't feeling so well. I feel much better now,' he said from his business suite at Walter Reed military medical center. 'We're working hard to get me all the way back... I think I'll be back soon and I look forward to finishing up the campaign the way it was started.'

Appearing relaxed in an open-collar blue suit and jacket, acknowledged that there was uncertainty about the course of the disease, which can hit recovering patients hard with no warning.

'I'm starting to feel good. You don't know over the next period of a few days, I guess that's the real test, so we'll be seeing what happens over those next couple of days.'

Several hours later, Deputy White House Press Secretary Judd Deere posted a picture showing working into the night from the hospital. 

The video came after Meadows' earlier comments spread and led to concern about how ill the president is, despite the optimistic updates from his personal physician. 

Meadows quickly tried to step back his words as the news spread, telling Reuters shortly afterward that was doing 'very well' and that doctors were in fact pleased with his vital signs.

'The president is doing very well. He is up and about and asking for documents to review. The doctors are very pleased with his vital signs. I have met with him on multiple occasions today on a variety of issues,' Meadows said. 

He made a third comment on the president's condition to Fox News on Saturday night in which the Chief of Staff confirmed that there had been a cause for concern when the president was hospitalized on Friday evening.

The White House had said that was traveling to Walter Reed Military Medical Center out of an 'abundance of caution' and would continue to work from they for a 'few days' as he underwent tests. 

'Yesterday morning he was real concerned with that. He had a fever and his blood oxygen level had dropped rapidly,' Meadows said to Fox's Judge Jeanie. 

Yet, he added that 's condition had improved. 

'He is doing extremely well. I am very, very optimistic based on the current result,' Meadows added. 

'He's made unbelievable improvement from yesterday' Meadows continued after again saying the doctors were 'very concerned'. 

'We are still not on a clear path to a full recovery,' he added.  

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Full transcript from Sunday's medical briefing on

SEAN CONLEY: Good morning.

Since we spoke last, the president has continued to improve. As with any illness, there are frequent ups and downs over the course, particularly when a patient is being so closely watched 24 hours a day. We review and debate every finding, compared to existing science and literature, weighing the risks and benefits of every intervention, the timing as well as impacts a delay may have. 

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Over the course of his illness the president has experienced two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen saturation. We debated the reasons for this and whether we would even intervene. As a determination of the team based on the timeline from the initial diagnosis that we initiated dexamethasone. 

I would like to take this opportunity, given speculation over the course of the illness, the last couple days, update you on the course of his illness. Thursday night into Friday morning when I left the bedside the president was doing well. With only mild symptoms and his oxygen was in the high 90s. 

Late Friday morning, when I returned to the bedside, the president had a high fever and his oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94%. Given these two developments, I was concerned for possible rapid progression of the illness. I recommended the president would try supplemental oxygen, see how he would respond. He was fairly adamant that he didn't need it. He was not short of breath. He was tired, had the fever and that was about it. After about a minute, on only two liters, his saturation levels were over 95%. He stayed on that for about an hour, maybe, and was off and gone. 

Later that day, by the time the team here was at the bedside, the president had been up out of bed, moving about the residence, with only mild symptoms. Despite this, everyone agreed the best course of action was to move to Walter reed for more thorough evaluation and monitoring. I would like to invite up Dr. Dr. Dooley to discuss the corn plans.

SEAN DOOLEY: Thank you, Dr. Conley. A brief clinical update on the president's condition, I want to reiterate my comments from yesterday regarding how proud I am to be part of this multi-disciplinary team of clinical professionals behind me and what an honor it it to care for the president here at Walter reed national military medical center. 

The president continues to improve. He has remained without fever since Friday morning. His vital signs are stable. From a pulmonary standpoint, he remains on room air this morning and a is not complaining of shortness of breath or other significant respiratory symptoms, is ambulating himself, walking around the White House medical unit without limitation or disability. 

'Our continued monitoring of his cardiac, liver and kidney function demonstrates continued normal findings or improving findings. I'll now turn it over to Dr. Garabaldi from Johns Hopkins to talk about therapeutics and our plan for today.

BRIAN GARIBALDI: Thank you, Dr. Dooley. I wanted to reiterate what an honor and privilege it is to take care of the president and be part of such a talented team here at Walter Reed. The president yesterday evening completed his second dose of remdesivir. He's tolerated that infusion well. We have been monitoring for potential side effects. 

He's had none that we can tell. Liver and kidney function have remained normal. We continue to plan to use a five day course of remdesivir. In response to transient low oxygen levels as Dr. Conley has discussed, we did initiate dexamethasone therapy and he received his first dose of that yesterday and our plan is to continue that for the time being. 

Today, he feels well. He's been up and around. Our plan is to have him to eat and drink, be up out of bed as much as possible torques be mobile. If he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is to plan for a discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House where he can continue his treatment course many thank you very much. I'll turn it over to Dr. Conley for any questions.

CONLEY: Just a moment, please. The president wanted me to share how proud he is of the group, what an honor it is for him to be receiving her care here, surrounded by incredible talent, academic leaders, department chairs, internationally renowned doctors and physicians. I would like to reiterate how pleased we all are with the president's recovery. With that I'll take your questions.

REPORTER: Dr. Conley, you said there were two instances where he had drops in oxygen. Can you walk us through the second one. And also I've got a question for the lung specialist afterwards.

CONLEY: Yesterday there was another episode where he dropped down 93%. He didn't ever feel short of breath. We watched it and it returned back up. We evaluate all of these and given the timeline where he is in the course of illness, we were trying to maximize everything we could do for him and we debated whether we would even start it. The dexamethasone. And we decided that in this case the potential benefits early on the course probably outweighed any risks at this time. 

REPORTER: Did you give him a second round of supplemental oxygen yesterday?

CONLEY: I would have to check with the nursing staff. If he did, it was very limited. But he's not on oxygen and the only oxygen that I ordered, that we provided was that Friday morning initially.

REPORTER: What time was that yesterday?

CONLEY: Yesterday -- what was yesterday?

REPORTER: The second incident.

CONLEY: The second incident. It was over the course of the day, yeah, yesterday morning.

REPORTER: The president's current blood oxygen levels, that's my first question to you, Dr. Conley.

CONLEY: 98%.

REPORTER: What did the x-rays and ct scans show? Are there signs of pneumonia? Are there signs of lung involvement? Or any damage to the lung?

CONLEY: We're tracking all of that. There's some expected findings but nothing of any major clinical concern.

REPORTERS: Why start him, Dr. Conley on the...Did is oxygen level ever dip below 90?

CONLEY: We don't have any recordings of that.

REPORTER: What about at the White House or here, anything below 90, just to follow up on her question?  

CONLEY: It was below 94%. It wasn't the low 80s or anything.

REPORTER: Yesterday you told us the president was in great shape, has been in good shape, minutes after your press conference Mark Meadows told reporters that the president's vitals were very concerning over the last 24 hours. Simple question for the American people, whose statements about the president's health should be believed?

CONLEY: The chief and I work side-by-side. I think his statement was misconstrued. What he meant was that 24 hours ago, when he and I were checking on the president, that there was that momentary episode of a high fever and that temporary drop in the saturation, which prompted us to act expediently to move him up here. Fortunately, that was really very transient, limited episode. A couple hours later he was back up, mild again. I'm not going to speculate what that limited episode was about, so early in the course but he's doing well.

REPORTER: What are the expected findings on

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