Doctors treating President Donald Trump for COVID-19 sent conflicting signals about the severity of his condition on Sunday, hours before the president surprised supporters gathered outside the hospital with an impromptu motorcade.
Trump, 74, wore a mask as he waved from the back seat of a black SUV that crawled in a caravan of vehicles in front of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington, while supporters waving Trump 2020 flags chanted: “USA! USA!”
Trump, who said on Friday morning he had the infectious disease, was swiftly criticized for risking the health of support staff.
It was Trump’s first appearance in public since he was evacuated to the hospital on Friday.
“It’s a very interesting journey. I learned a lot about COVID,” he said in a video posted on Twitter shortly beforehand.
Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden tested negative again for the disease that has killed more than 200,000 Americans, his campaign said on Sunday. The former vice president, who shared a debate stage with Trump last Tuesday, previously tested negative in two tests on Friday, the day Trump disclosed his coronavirus infection.
Doctors said the president was improving, although they were monitoring the condition of his lungs after he received supplemental oxygen. They said he could be sent back to the White House as soon as Monday.
But Dr. Sean P. Conley said the president’s condition had been worse than he previously admitted. Conley said Trump’s blood oxygen levels had dropped in prior days and that he had run a high fever on Friday morning.
Asked what tests had revealed about the condition of Trump’s lungs, Conley replied: “There’s some expected findings, but nothing of any major clinical concern.”