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.
Meadows: Decision on Trump's discharge to be made later today
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told NBC News on Monday morning that a decision on whether to discharge President Trump from the hospital “will be made later today between the president and his medical team.”
In an interview on Fox News, Meadows said he was "optimistic" that Trump would be released, but that the president's doctors will perform an evaluation sometime late morning, and then Trump, in consultation with the doctors, will make a decision.
Trump's allies defend his drive-by outside hospital
Allies of President Donald Trump on Monday defended his decision to leave Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to drive by his supporters and wave from his motorcade despite criticism that he put Secret Service agents at risk.
Several close associates of the president said Trump did the drive-by Sunday to show he was doing well during his treatment for Covid-19. They also dismissed the possibility of the Secret Service personnel contracting the disease because of the precautions taken.
"The president wanted to thank all the supporters who had been standing out there for days supporting him," said Corey Lewandowski, one of Trump's 2016 campaign managers, on NBC's "TODAY" show.
Lewandowski said he was told that the detail leader of the Secret Service and the driver "both volunteered for that assignment."
Pence and Harris prep for a debate with suddenly higher stakes
Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris are expected to take the debate stage Wednesday night against an extraordinary backdrop that has raised the stakes of an event that for decades has been a routine, inconsequential fixture of presidential elections.
No vice president has debated while the president is known to be sick and possibly still in the hospital. And never have two vice presidential nominees debated at a time when Americans are giving far more than cursory thought to how each might lead in the top job.
"Vice presidential debates oftentimes get a lot of attention at the moment, and then a few days later they're forgotten," presidential historian Michael Beschloss said. "But this year it may be different."
Trump lets the tweets fly from inside Walter Reed hospital
Is President Donald Trump feeling better?
He began Monday morning with a stream of tweets from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Trump hasn't been this active on the social media platform in days as he's undergone treatment for Covid-19. The president posted a string of tweets in all-caps about once a minute around 7 a.m. ET Monday, urging people to vote for a variety of reasons.
For example, he suggested that people should vote for him because of "RELIGIOUS LIBERTY" or "STRONGEST EVER MILITARY" or "MASSIVE REGULATION CUTS."
His tweets come after his drive-by photo-op Sunday evening when he passed by his supporters outside the hospital, potentially putting Secret Service agents in the SUV with him at risk.
Venezuela's Maduro wishes Trump a speedy recovery from Covid
U.S. 'fully prepared' against 'malign actors,' says Pompeo
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the United States was “fully prepared” when asked if there was concern about adversaries taking advantage of the moment with President Donald Trump in hospital.
“We know there’s rogue actors, we know there’s malign actors around the world,” he told reporters before departing on an official visit to Tokyo according to a statement released by the State Department.
“The United States is fully prepared, both the State Department and our diplomats. I was with General Milley this afternoon,” he added, referring to Gen. Mark Milley, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer. “Everyone’s ready.”
Pompeo also said he had talked to more than half a dozen world leaders over the past few days all of whom had wished the president and the first lady well.
He added that he had spoken to Trump at length on Sunday and that the president "was in a great mood."
Hear what these Trump supporters say about Covid and the president
Two White House residence employees tested positive three weeks ago
Two members of the White House residence staff tested positive for the coronavirus roughly three weeks ago, a White House official confirmed to NBC News Sunday.
The official said the employees do not have regular contact with President Donald Trump, who along with the first lady, several aides and other Republican officials have tested positive for the virus. Additional information about the employees, whose positive tests were first reported by the New York Times, was not immediately available.
White House spokesman Judd Deere declined to comment on the staff members but said the White House "does take any positive case seriously and has extensive plans and procedures in place to prevent further spread."
Asked how residence staff are being protected while first lady Melania Trump convalesces there, her chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, said that "every precaution is being taken" to ensure their safety.
Trump briefly leaves hospital to drive past supporters
Trump drove by a crowd of journalists and supporters standing outside Walter Reed around 5:30 pm ET on Sunday.
It's unclear who was driving and what, if any, precautions were taken to prevent further spread of the virus.
He returned to his hospital room soon after, the White House said.
N.J. health officials say they're contacting fundraiser attendees, club staff
The New Jersey Health Department provided more information Sunday about its contact-tracing efforts surrounding Trump's fundraiser at his Bedminster golf club Thursday.
In a series of tweets, the department said that it has reached out to those who attended the fundraiser and that state officials were also interviewing the golf club's staff members to assess their level of exposure to the president and his aides, as well as to provide public health recommendations. The majority of the club's staff members live in Somerset County, the department said.
There has been growing frustration and anger at the state level because of how the White House responded to state officials' request for information about attendees and club staff, NBC News has reported.
White House will be 'as transparent as we can,' aide says
The White House's director of strategic communications, Alyssa Farah, said the White House is striving to be "as transparent as we can" about Trump's condition and would be "very quick to clean up" any information if needed.
Trump's physician, Dr. Sean Conley, acknowledged having left out important information in Saturday's briefing to convey an "upbeat" picture.
Farah told Fox News, "It's a very common medical practice that you want to convey confidence and you want to raise the spirits of the person you're treating."
Asked whether the president was upset with his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, for describing a more alarming scene than was previously disclosed by Trump or his team Saturday, Farah said, "Absolutely not." She added, "If anything, I think the chief of staff's comments reflect how close their relationship is, that he's so close to this individual when he sees him not feeling well, not his tough, strong self that we all know, that he wanted to make sure to convey that to the public."