Washington — One day after leaving Walter Reed Medical Center to return to the White House, President Trump continued to downplay the risks of the coronavirus, while his doctor said the president is reporting “no symptoms” of COVID-19. Stephen Miller, a top aide to the president, announced Tuesday evening that he also has tested positive for the virus and was under quarantine.
Hours after Mr. Trump’s medical team cautioned that the president is “not out of the woods yet,” Mr. Trump returned to the White House shortly before 7 p.m. on Monday, where he took off his mask and gave a thumbs up before walking inside.
He soon tweeted a minute-long video from the balcony, saying he’d “learned so much about coronavirus” and that he might be immune to it. “One thing that’s for certain: Don’t let it dominate you,” he said of COVID-19. “Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it.”
In a post shared on Twitter and Facebook Tuesday morning, the president once again compared COVID-19 to the flu, which is much less lethal and contagious than the coronavirus. Overstating the yearly death toll from the flu, Mr. Trump said Americans “have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid.” More than 210,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Twitter the tweet, saying it violated the platform’s rules about “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.” Facebook removed it entirely.
The president’s attitude alarmed many infectious disease experts, who said he should have stressed precautions Americans should take to try to avoid getting the coronavirus.
Early Tuesday afternoon, the White House released a memo from Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician, saying the president is doing “extremely well” and experiencing “no symptoms.”
He’s being treated with, a powerful steroid recommended for use in severe cases of COVID-19. The drug can carry serious psychological side effects, but Conley said Monday that the president hasn’t exhibited any of them. He repeatedly declined to provide specifics about the president’s lung condition or the last time Mr. Trump tested negative for the virus, citing federal privacy laws.