WASHINGTON - President Trump landed back at the White House Monday evening after three days of hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The President was wearing a mask as he emerged from Marine One, but then, once he ascended the stairs to the White House balcony, the mask came off, he gave a double thumbs up, and shortly after posted a video on Twitter.
"I learned so much about the coronavirus and one thing that's for certain don't let it dominate you. Don't be afraid of it," said President Trump, at one point seeming to suggest his lack of masking and social distancing was a sign of leadership, "I know there's a risk, I know there's a danger but that's ok. And now I'm better."
Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician said the President is expected to receive another dose of the drug remdesivir Tuesday. That's one of three drugs he received, along with an experimental antibody treatment, and the steroid Dexamethasone, which are not usually available to other Americans in similar conditions.The President's medical team says they will monitor the President.
"Though he may not entirely be out of the woods yet, the team and I agree in all our evaluations, most importantly, his clinical status, support the President's safe return home," said Dr. Conley.
"This is the strange part of this infection, is you can look like you're doing better at the beginning and then you can get more ill," said Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at University of California San Francisco.
Dr. Gandhi says President Trump, the First Lady and anyone else who tested positive should be wearing masks around others and isolating themselves.
"He is absolutely still infectious. If we date the time that he got the infection from Thursday, he is still in that 10-day period where he still has active virus," said Dr. Gandhi.
The number of White House cases continued to grow Monday. Another White House staffer, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced she too has tested positive for COVID-19 Monday morning and was not feeling ill. She said she planned to isolate for 14 days.
That makes at least thirteen people who have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the September 26th Rose Garden Ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination. Video shows many people without masks, sitting shoulder to shoulder, hugging and shaking hands.
The White House is not doing contact tracing to track down and inform people at that event of the COVID cases, according to a report Monday by the New York Times.
"Reporters themselves aren't clear from the White House about who they were around, and when, and when those people got positive tests," said Amber Phillips, a Washington Post reporter.
There are questions about whether that disregard for health officials' recommendations might have put other people at risk unnecessarily.
The President was accused by critics of putting secret service agents' health at risk Sunday when the President left the hospital to take a ride past supporters outside.
"Testing your way is actually not the way to get out of COVID-19 because by the time you test positive, you're positive," said Dr. Gandhi.
"They are social distancing, they are hand-hygiene, and they are keeping universal masking on," said Dr. Gandhi, "And that's what we have to do for a while until we get to a vaccine, including the President and all of his affiliates."
Jana Katsuyama is a reporter for KTVU. Email Jana at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @JanaKTVU or Facebook @NewsJana