President Donald Trump returned to the White House Monday evening after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he had been receiving treatment for Covid-19 since Friday.
White House physician Sean Conley said in a briefing with reporters after Trump tweeted that he was leaving the hospital that the president had "met or exceeded all standard hospital discharge criteria" and could be released for continued treatment at the White House.
Trump made his way from Marine One, that had carried him from Walter Reed, up to a balcony overlooking the South Lawn of the White House and removed his mask before posing for photos.
On Sunday, Trump briefly left the hospital to wave to supporters from a motorcade, a move medical experts and Democrats swiftly criticized as "insanity." The president does not travel anywhere without Secret Service protection, and this outing was no exception. At least two other people were seen in the car with Trump.
Earlier, Trump's medical team said that he had been placed on a steroid therapy typically used in more severe Covid-19 cases and that his condition was improving after multiple "episodes" over the weekend.
This live coverage has ended. Continue reading news from Tuesday on the president's condition.
GOP senator says Trump 'let his guard down' on Covid-19
Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn said Monday that Trump "let his guard down" on Covid-19.
“I think he let his guard down, and I think in his desire to try to demonstrate that we are somehow coming out of this and that the danger is not still with us — I think he got out over his skis and frankly, I think it’s a lesson to all of us that we need to exercise self-discipline,” Cornyn told the Houston Chronicle's editorial board.
Cornyn's campaign confirmed the quotes to NBC News.
The senaor also told the Chronicle that Trump’s rhetoric at times "creates confusion."
"He tries to balance that with saying, 'Well you know, we got this.' And clearly we don’t have this," Cornyn added. "I think the biggest mistake people make in public life is not telling the truth, particularly in something with as much public interest as here because you know the real story is going to come out."
Three of Cornyn's GOP colleagues in the Senate have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past week.
Trump tweets from White House: 'Maybe I'm immune, I don't know'
Trump removes mask as he poses for photos at White House
Trump returns to White House after leaving hospital, sheds mask for photo opportunity
Trump returned to the White House on Monday evening after being treated for Covid-19 for three days at Walter Reed Medical Center— and immediately took off his mask to pose for pictures.
The highly choreographed moment on the Truman Balcony came hours after Trump suggested online that the disease is not that serious a threat.
Trump walked out of the hospital's main entrance shortly after 6:30 p.m. in a mask and a suit and tie and pumped his fist for the cameras before being driven to Marine One for the short trip back to the White House. He declined to answer questions from reporters.
At the White House, he went up the exterior stairs and posed in front of an array of flags on the balcony, where he immediately took off his mask. Trump kept the mask off even as he was greeted by mask-wearing White House staffers. He appeared to be shooting some sort of video.
Health experts say coronavirus patients should wear masks to avoid infecting others, and the president is still believed to be contagious.
A buoyant Trump returns to a deflated White House
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump attempted to claim victory over the coronavirus Monday as he returned to a White House increasingly hollowed out by the disease, as infections among staffers continued to spread and confusion reigned.
Upon returning to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he had been treated for Covid-19 since Friday, Trump took off his mask before posing for a photo op as Marine One took off.
Back inside the West Wing, the mood was less triumphant. “Folks are dropping like flies over here,” a White House official said. “S--- is very crazy.”
Trump tweets that stock market gains are 'Great News for America' — but millions are still out of work
President Donald Trump continues to downplay the severity of the coronavirus, tweeting on Monday afternoon, "Don't be afraid of Covid. Don't let it dominate your life." But economists continue to underscore that the course of the virus will dictate the course of the economy — and that the U.S. is still very far from being back to business as usual.
“STOCK MARKET UP BIG, 466 Points! 28,149. Great News for America. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!” Trump tweeted later on Monday as he prepared to leave Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
But under the Trump administration’s push to reopen the economy while dismissing the use of masks and social distancing to stem coronavirus infections, the economy has largely faltered.
The unemployment rate hovers at just under 8 percent. The country’s gross domestic product, or the economy’s total output of goods and services, fell by an annualized rate of 31 percent in the three-month period ending in June. Meanwhile, coronavirus cases are on the rise in nearly two dozen states, threatening another period of slow economic growth.
Trump leaves hospital after three days of treatment
Trump on Monday left Walter Reed Medical Center, where he had been treated for Covid-19 since Friday, hours after suggesting online that the disease is not that serious a threat.
Trump walked out of the hospital's main entrance in mask and a suit and tie and pumped his fist for the cameras before being driven to Marine One for the short trip back to the White House. He declined to answer questions from reporters.
When was the president's last negative test result?
Four days into Trump's positive coronavirus diagnosis, neither the White House nor his doctors will disclose when he last tested negative for the disease. Asked repeatedly during media availabilities, no one has been able to provide that detail, a key part of the timeline, definitively.
Questions continue to mount about how often Trump was actually tested in the weeks leading to his contracting Covid-19. Over the summer, the president conceded that he was being evaluated only every few days.
"I do probably, on average, a test every two days, three days, and I don't know of any time I've taken two in one day, but I could see that happening," Trump told reporters at a briefing in July.
A negative coronavirus test result was required to enter the debate hall on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic last week, but the host left it to the Trump and Biden campaigns to comply.
The clinic required each campaign to "certify" that their medical teams had conducted the tests and that they were negative in a certain time frame. It said in a statement that "each campaign complied with this requirement."
But when asked for specifics about when the president got his last negative test, communications director Tim Murtaugh said: "You would have to ask the White House this."
White House officials have, for days, offered varying explanations for why this information is being withheld. Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Sunday that she would not provide a "detailed readout with timestamps of every time" Trump has been tested, offering only that "he's tested regularly." And when pressed by reporters Monday, Dr. Sean Conley said "I don't want to go backwards" before dodging the question again by simply saying, "Everyone wants that."
NBC News has sought clarity times since Friday morning and has yet to receive an explanation.
Pence spokesperson mocks Harris for requesting plexiglass partitions
The Biden campaign responded Monday after Vice President Mike Pence's team mocked Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., for requesting a plexiglass barrier at their vice presidential debate.
"If Sen. Harris wants to use a fortress around herself, have at it," Katie Miller, Pence's spokeswoman, said Monday.
Ron Klain, a senior adviser to the Biden campaign, tweeted Monday that the "head of the WH Task Force on COVID should be busy getting plexiglass into countless workplaces and shops to keep workers and shoppers safe -- not belittling its use."
Sources close to the debates said the Harris campaign requested the use of plexiglass after Trump tested positive for Covid-19 last week. The Commission on Presidential Debates began negotiations with both campaigns. In addition, both candidates will be spaced 7 to 13 feet apart on stage.
Miller tested positive for the coronavirus in May.
ANALYSIS: Trump's leaving the hospital. GOP candidates are still stuck in a box.
Trump proclaimed Monday that getting coronavirus improved his health.
"Don’t be afraid of Covid," he tweeted as he announced he would be leaving the hospital. "Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!"
But for 210,000 dead Americans, most of the millions who have lost their businesses or jobs because of coronavirus, and many parents trying to keep their kids wired into distance learning, the disease has been the dominant force in their lives.
And a Trump tweet is not going to change widespread awareness of the fact that the most heavily protected person in America not only contracted the disease, but had to be hospitalized and supplied with both drugs and supplemental oxygen to treat it.
Biden slams Trump pandemic response decision as 'wrong' and 'not very rational'
Joe Biden on Monday slammed President Donald Trump, who was set to be discharged from the hospital later in the day as he continues to battle Covid-19, over his administration's pandemic response, calling some of his administration's recent decisions "wrong" and "not very rational."
The comments suggest that the political cease-fire attempted by Biden — whose campaign suspended negative ads against Trump on Friday — had come to an end.
Biden, speaking in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, in the battleground state of Florida, offered his prayers for Trump and first lady Melania Trump before taking aim at the president.
"Now that he's busy tweeting campaign messages, I would ask him to do this: Listen to the scientists," Biden said. He urged Trump to "support a mask mandate nationwide" and to "require masks in federal buildings," adding, "We know it saves lives."
And he ripped Trump over the Transportation Department's decision Friday — the same day Trump was taken to the hospital — to reject calls to issue a mandate requiring all passengers on agency-overseen transportation to wear masks.
"I believe that was wrong and not very rational," Biden said. He said more than 100,000 people in the U.S. had been diagnosed with Covid-19 since Trump entered the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday.