Secret Service agents are among those who have spoken out — albeit anonymously, in their case — about President Donald Trump’s decision to go for a brief car ride outside Walter Reed Medical Center on Sunday evening. Trump has been at the hospital following a recent diagnosis with the Coronavirus, and those in close proximity to him who handled the car ride, during which he waved at his supporters from behind a closed window, could have been put at risk of contracting the sometimes deadly disease.
One agent told The Washington Post that Trump is “not even pretending to care now.” Another agent commented to CNN that the car ride “should never have happened,” adding:
‘The frustration with how we’re treated when it comes to decisions on this illness goes back before this though. We’re not disposable.’
The car ride is far from the first occasion when Trump has flouted basic public health guidelines regarding the handling of the Coronavirus. He has held an array of packed in-person rallies throughout the pandemic, and although the campaign apparently conducts temperature checks on individuals before they enter these events, the results of those checks are not automatic immunity against the virus, of course. Someone could be carrying the disease without displaying symptoms, and they could spread it at one of the president’s packed rallies to someone who might suffer serious symptoms.
Those anonymous agents are definitely not the only ones who have criticized the president’s decision to briefly travel outside of the hospital on Sunday evening. Dr. James Phillips, for instance, who is the Chief of Disaster Medicine at the George Washington University emergency medicine department, commented:
‘That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack. 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.’
That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack. 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 P. Phillips, MD (@DrPhillipsMD) October 4, 2020
Trump, for his part, has faced an array of reported symptoms during his bout with the Coronavirus, and the virus has been known to leave patients with lasting issues after the initial course of the infection. On Sunday, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley admitted that Trump had briefly used supplemental oxygen.