US President Donald Trump has returned to the White House after three days in the hospital. The president arrived at the White House on Monday evening after thee days away during which he was being treated for coronavirus. Despite taking to Twitter later in the evening to downplay the severity of the outbreak, Trump’s doctors have warned that the president was not yet “out of the woods”.
Upon release from the hospital, President Trump walked down the steps of the Walter Reed Medical Center wearing a mask and without being assisted, giving a thumbs up to the cameras and uttering a simple “Thank you very much, everybody.”
Controversy was, however, not far from the president’s return as upon returning to the White House, he discarded his mask for an extended period to watch the departure of the presidential helicopter, Marine One, which had flown him back from the Maryland military hospital.
President Trump then participated in a video message shot from the balcony of the White House, declaring: “Now I’m better. Maybe I’m immune”. “I don’t know. But don’t let it dominate your lives. Get out there. Be careful . . . The vaccines are coming momentarily.”
While many are grateful for the President’s safe return to the White House, his actions following his release from hospital have been widely criticised. There have been expressions of anger by many who feel that the president’s downplaying of the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, despite catching the virus, only pours scorn on the memory of the over 210.000 Americans who have died from the virus.
Top among the critics of the president has been his rival Joe Biden, who is the Democrat candidate in the upcoming elections. Former VP Biden has said wearing a mask remains a ‘patriotic duty’.
The US continues to lead the world in terms of coronavirus infections and deaths. With 7.48 million people infected and 210 thousand people dead, President Trump’s remarks that Americans should “not be afraid” remains controversial, at best.