A crowd gathered Sunday afternoon outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where President Donald Trump is being treated for Covid-19. Supporters waved MAGA flags and posed with cardboard cutouts of the president and first lady while counter-protesters held signs that said “super-spreader event” and “get well then get out.”
After announcing he would do so in a video on Twitter, the president drove by the crowd and press, masked and waving from inside a vehicle. The photo-op then became its own scandal.
Trump drives by the press and supporters outside Walter Reed hospital. pic.twitter.com/3phtKthqTH
— Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) October 4, 2020
Dr. James P. Phillips, a Walter Reed attending physician, noted in a tweet that the incident put the vehicle’s other passengers at risk of contracting the virus for what he called “unnecessary” and “political theater.” At least eight individuals who attended the Rose Garden confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett and several others from Trump’s circle have tested positive for the virus this week.
Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential “drive-by” just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.
— Dr. James P. Phillips, MD (@DrPhillipsMD) October 4, 2020
Washingtonian photographer Evy Mages was there to capture the day’s events.
Hundreds of Trump supporters, many unmasked, also flooded downtown DC on Saturday afternoon for an “Unsilent Majority: March on Washington.” Originally, the event had expected an attendance of close to 8000, but less than a thousand showed up.