A highly-accomplished Walter Reed physician who is an expert on COVID-19 is blasting President Donald Trump’s joy ride stunt Sunday, when the coronavirus-infected president rode around the hospital in a hermetically-sealed SUV to wave to his supporters.
“This is insanity,” says James P. Phillips, MD in a pair of tweets that went viral. “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.”
Dr. Phillips knows what he’s talking about.
He is an attending physician at Walter Reed Medical Center. He is also the Chief of Disaster Medicine at George Washington University Emergency Medicine, and a CNN Medical Analyst.
“My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play,” he says on Twitter.
Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential “drive-by” just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.
— Dr. James P. Phillips, MD (@DrPhillipsMD) October 4, 2020
Monday on NBC’s “Today” show, Dr. Phillips called Trump’s joy ride “a dangerous move.”
“The reality is is that this was a dangerous move there is no medical benefit for this to have taken place. It violates CDC guidelines that come from the President’s own administration.”
He adds that Trump’s stunt sends the message that it’s OK for coronavirus infected people to go out, which it’s not.
“The reality is this was a dangerous move. There is no medical benefit for this to have taken place.” –@DrPhillipsMD tells @SavannahGuthrie the president’s drive outside Walter Reed put Secret Service agents and others at risk. pic.twitter.com/k19DgXzxq8
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 5, 2020
“It’s been a back and forth between the medical community and this administration, trying to get the right message to the citizens of America, and beyond the risk of that was clearly taken apart, or the risk that was imparted upon those Secret Service agents volunteering or not. It’s the message that sent to other people who were sick, that it’s okay to go out we’re seeing schools try to reopen we’re seeing parents who have already sent their kids to school with disease. This is the wrong message to be sending. And the only way that somebody can can volunteer for something like this and do it safely is through real informed consent. They have to know the real risks of getting into that vehicle, and my concern is that they didn’t.”
In another part of the segment he notes the Secret Service agents are not in full PPE, and one is even wearing a valved mask, which is dangerous.
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