Donald Trump is allegedly getting better. Late Thursday night it was reported that the president, who has been widely accused of downplaying the pandemic that has affected the United States in far greater numbers than elsewhere, had tested positive for COVID-19. Since then he’s been quarantining, first in the White House and then in a massive suite in D.C.’s Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Word on his condition has been fuzzy, with some reports being grim, others being very optimistic. And on late Sunday, in an apparent attempt to show off his alleged good spirits, he got into an SUV with a pile of Secret Service agents to do a quick drive around the massive crowds that have gathered, loudly, outside of the hospital.
WATCH: Trump briefly leaves hospital to greet supporters pic.twitter.com/LxstB0CvCM
— BNO Newsroom (@BNODesk) October 4, 2020
Thing is, even if he’s been feeling better, anyone who’s tested positive for the coronavirus should not be crammed inside a tight space with anyone, even if they’re decked out in PPE, as they appear to be. While Trump’s supporters may appreciate the gesture, others noticing the quick drive from afar, on social media, thought it was cruel.
sending my best wishes to the Secret Service agent driving the active Covid patient in a car with the windows rolled up https://t.co/8lcQ4wtXOJ
— Rosie Gray (@RosieGray) October 4, 2020
Just sent this video to a Secret Service source who responded: "So reckless and careless and heartless" https://t.co/5DE6Y9GSEe
— Elizabeth Landers (@ElizLanders) October 4, 2020
Spare a thought for the Secret Service personnel, forced to unnecessarily risk their lives for this spectacle https://t.co/j9fhZAtdPo
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) October 4, 2020
Once again, Trump has endangered the Secret Service and his staff for a photo-op.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) October 4, 2020
By taking a joy ride outside Walter Reed the president is placing his Secret Service detail at grave risk. 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.
— Jonathan Reiner (@JReinerMD) October 4, 2020
It’s one thing to ask the Secret Service to take a bullet for the President.
It’s another thing entirely to ask them to take a bullet *from* the President, just so he can wave at his fans.
— Scafe says wear a gd mask (@erinscafe) October 4, 2020
Why is a sick President riding in an SUV waving to supporters outside Walter Reed, jeopardizing the Secret Service agents inside the car with him?
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) October 4, 2020
Imagine being the Secret Service agents who have to drive a contagious Covid-19 President around in a vehicle with recycled air, just to boost his ego.
— Mrs. Krassenstein (@HKrassenstein) October 4, 2020
“I finally get Covid. Now let me do a photo op exposing the Secret Service and staff to the virus, and go out to wave at my maskless supporters so they all crush together and excitedly and loudly cheer, spewing micro droplets at each other.”
He still does not get it.
— Kurt "Mask Up, Vote Early" Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) October 4, 2020
Some pointed out that the Secret Service’s job — to take a bullet for the president — has its limits.
It's one thing to ask Secret Service agents to take a bullet for the President, and another thing entirely to ask them to take a bullet *from* him. https://t.co/ctHfpcTcXA
— The West Wing Weekly (@WestWingWeekly) October 4, 2020
Secret Service agents agree to take a bullet *for* the President not *from* the President.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) October 4, 2020
Trump is showing appalling and reckless disregard for the wellbeing of the Secret Service agents who are sworn to take a bullet for him. https://t.co/3ddFbdaFHh
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) October 4, 2020
Others pointed out that endangering officers sworn to uphold lives doesn’t gibe with other public statements about the police put forth by this administration.
REPUBLICANS: Blue lives matter.
“What about secret service agents who guard the President, don’t their lives matter?”
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) October 4, 2020
Some quoted a former Secret Service officer and leaders.
Former Secret Service leader.⬇️ https://t.co/gX5cyRV0ho
— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) October 4, 2020
Secret Service is PISSED. https://t.co/m4woqtxYMO
— John Aravosis 🇺🇸🇬🇷🏳️🌈 (@aravosis) October 4, 2020
A former Secret Service PPD detail leader, quite hesitant to say anything, tells me: “The job is to put your life on the line…and risk is always there, you manage it. But what we’re seeing now is unprecedented. It’s Russian Roulette….you can’t manage that. “
— Marc Ambinder (@marcambinder) October 4, 2020
And a physician at Walter Reed itself weighed in.
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
That’s a lot of righteous anger, but hand it to Jordan Uhl for finding the one humorous lining of Trump’s latest dangerous photo op stunt.
— jordan (@JordanUhl) October 4, 2020
So did this guy.
I never thought I’d say this, but the way Trump endangers the Secret Service makes me ashamed to be a narcissist sociopath. https://t.co/Niq0rw5cug
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) October 4, 2020
In any case, if it’s true that Trump was tested positive Thursday night, he has another week-and-a-half until he’s supposed to be around anyone else, for fear of exposing them to a highly infectious disease. But we’ll see how long that lasts.