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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 10/6/20

"Don't Be Afraid of COVID": Trump Removes Mask & Fuels Misinformation Effort After Leaving Hospital

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Shocking medical experts, President Trump has returned to the White House while still infectious with the coronavirus and after more than a dozen people in Trump's orbit have already tested positive for COVID-19. Emergency room physician Dr. Dara Kass says she was "horrified" by President Trump's dismissive attitude toward a pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 people in the United States. "I had this virus," says Dr. Kass. "I never left my bedroom without an N95 mask on my face, because I was petrified of giving it to my friends and family."

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: In a shocking show of recklessness, President Trump left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for the White House on Monday evening, staging a series of photo ops as he walked out through its golden doors after a 72-hour stay and boarded the presidential helicopter back to the White House to continue his COVID-19 treatment. It was the beginning of a bizarre sequence of events that alarmed public health experts.

At the White House, Trump stepped off Marine One, then ascended a set of stairs to the first floor balcony, where he removed his mask, despite having COVID, and waved farewell to the helicopter in a propaganda-style video he soon posted to Twitter accompanied by dramatic music. He entered the White House unmasked, potentially exposing more staff, after at least two housekeeping staff recently tested positive. Trump filmed a video in front of the White House, which has become a COVID hot spot due to his administration's negligence.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I stood out front. I led. Nobody that's a leader would not do what I did. And I know there's a risk, there's a danger, but that's OK. And now I'm better, and maybe I'm immune. I don't know. But don't let it dominate your lives. Get out there. Be careful. We have the best medicines in the world.

AMY GOODMAN: Trump's comments sparked outrage and alarm from public health officials and came as the U.S. COVID death toll passed 210,000. Other video of Trump's homecoming shows the president appearing short of breath. Dr. Abdul El-Sayed tweeted, quote, "This is not how a healthy man breathes." Meanwhile, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley refused Monday to answer questions from reporters about the health of Trump's lungs.

KATHERINE FAULDERS: Have you seen any evidence of pneumonia or any inflammation in his lungs at all?

DR. SEAN CONLEY: So, we've done routine standard imaging. I'm just not at liberty to discuss.

KATHERINE FAULDERS: So you're actively not telling us what those lung scans showed, just to be clear?

DR. SEAN CONLEY: So, there are HIPAA rules and regulations that restrict me in sharing certain things, for his safety and his own health.

AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Conley also refused to disclose the last time the president tested negative for the virus.

KATHERINE FAULDERS: Can you tell us, please, on testing, can you tell us when he had his last negative test? Was it Thursday? Was it Wednesday? Do you remember when he had his last negative test?

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