President Donald Trump’s condition is continuing to improve as he fights a coronavirus infection, doctors said, and he left Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday evening, landing at the White House shortly before 7 p.m.
Doctors also reported that Trump, over the course of exhibiting coronavirus symptoms, had earlier experienced two episodes of “transient drops” in his oxygen saturation.
Marine One landed on the White House South Lawn at 6:53 p.m. Trump, again, did not stop and talk to reporters but made a dramatic return without speaking a word.
He, instead, walked up the steps of White House, faced the cameras, and took off his mask — in an apparent effort to project strength and flout public health protocols as he continues to battle COVID-19. Trump also gave a thumbs up and an extended salute to Marine One, before walking inside the residence.
The president is returning to a White House plagued by COVID-19 as 18 people in Trump’s orbit have reported testing positive since last week.
Meanwhile, numerous questions remain about how many more people at the highest levels of government had been exposed to the virus after a week of events involving the president where social distancing and mask-wearing were lax in the White House and elsewhere.
Trump, the morning after returning from the hospital to be treated for COVID-19, tweeted, “we are learning to live with COVID,” comparing the virus to the flu.
“Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with COVID, in most populations far less lethal!!!” he wrote.
Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2020
According to CDC estimates, the annual flu death toll has ranged between 12,000 and 61,000 since 2010.
Trump also told Bob Woodward earlier this year that coronavirus is “more deadly than even your strenuous flu.”
Trump used a similar comparison early on in the pandemic before death totals began to rapidly rise.
On March 9, Trump tweeted, “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”
As of Tuesday, over 210,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.