President Donald Trump departed Walter Reed Medical Center around 6:30 p.m. ET on Monday, and will continue to monitor his COVID-19 symptoms at the White House.

He gave a thumbs up to people gathered near the White House just before 7 p.m. and took off his mask as he went inside.

Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician, told reporters earlier on Monday that Trump will be “surrounded by world-class medical care, 24/7” at the White House. However, physicians at Walter Reed had cautioned that he is “not out of the woods yet.”

Soon after his return to the White House, Trump posted a minute-long video seeking to reassure the public.

He said he had “learned so much about coronavirus” and theorized that he may now be immune to the virus. While researchers are hopeful about the prospect of antibodies preventing reinfection, there are not yet enough studies to prove if achieving immunity is even possible.

Trump continued: “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.”

Trump’s downplaying of the virus that has claimed over 210,000 American lives alarmed several politicians and experts, who worried he was not emphasizing measures to prevent the spread, such as mask-wearing and social distancing.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) tweeted that the Trump administration needs to start “responding at the scale necessary” to defeat the virus.

“COVID-19 will continue to dominate and devastate our lives until the Trump admin stops playing it down and starts responding at the scale necessary to defeat it,” she said. “We need a testing and tracing strategy. We need more economic relief. We need to listen to the scientists and experts.”

Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul weighed in last week, after Trump’s diagnosis.

“President Trump had an army of aides, doctors, AF1, protocols in place to prevent him from getting Covid, and he still contracted the virus,” he wrote. “So everyone else should wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing. Please stop politicizing health & science.”

Trump’s has more resources than the everyday American when it comes to his personal fight with COVID-19.

In addition to the medical monitoring set-up at the White House and the care he received at Walter Reed, Trump has accessed a variety of treatments not typically available to the general public, including an experimental antibody cocktail.

Currently, he is being treated with dexamethasone, a powerful steroid recommended for use in severe cases of COVID-19. Conley said the president has not experienced any side effects from the drug, including its common psychological side effects.


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