President Donald Trump has returned to the Oval Office, breaking the COVID-19 quarantine procedure he was supposed to adhere to. The president was discharged from Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday and installed in his White House residence to avoid infecting other people. He however returned to the Oval Office on Wednesday.
He also recorded a video close to the Oval Office. The West Wing of the White House which houses the Oval Office is now considered a hot zone for coronavirus as a result of the number of infected people who worked there last week.
“I am standing outside the Oval Office,” Trump said in a tweeted video on Wednesday. “It is always very exciting to be here.”
Doctors confined the president to his White House residence to follow the CDC’s recommendation of at least 10 days of quarantine after symptoms begin. But he flouted it. Trump had started experiencing symptoms on Thursday and should have remained in quarantine till Saturday. The president’s return has caused a chain of reactions amongst White House members and staff.
The president, First Lady Melania Trump, and about a dozen staff in the White House have tested positive for COVID-19. A senior aide to the president, Stephen Miller, announced on Tuesday that he tested positive for the disease.
Trump maintained an upbeat attitude since his diagnosis and referred to his infection in the past tense in a video he shared. In the video he repeated things he has always said about COVID-19, blaming China and assuring Americans that there was no reason to be scared of the disease. He also stated that a vaccine will be produced soon even though doctors have stated that it might take months for the vaccine to be produced.
The president also talked about the effectiveness of Regeneron’s REGN-COV2. The antibody-drug is still in a trial stage but it was used to treat him at Walter Reed. Trump also boasted that getting infected helped him in the search for the best drug in the fight against COVID-19.
Regeneron announced last week that the president had been given doses of REGN-COV2 after the FDA gave its approval. Such use of the experimental drug on patients is for compassionate use, according to the company. Less than 10 patients have also been treated with REGN-COV2 according to Regeneron.
“We only grant requests for compassionate use in exceptional and unique cases because we don’t want to falsely raise the hopes of patients,” Alexandra Bowie, a Regeneron spokeswoman.
Since Trump tested positive, White House members have set strict measures to avoid the spread of the virus. The White House has been completely disinfected and some staff now work from home. Mark Meadows, Chief of Staff, was with Trump in the Oval Office and he had on his mask and other protective kits. Dan Scavino, an aide at the White House also went into the Oval Office in his PPE. Officials refused to state if the president wore a mask or not.
Dr. Sean Conley said that a blood sample taken from the president indicated signs of antibodies.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has wished the president quick recovery but denounced the president’s attitude towards his illness. “It is quite disheartening that the president is handling the issue of the pandemic lightly when 210,000 people have died from it,” he said.