Cleaning staff in hazmat suits sanitize the West Wing after Trump returned to the White House and a cluster of staff and reporters tested positive for COVID

 A cleaning crew outfitted in hazmat suits sanitized the West Wing after President Trump returned to the White House and a number of staffers tested positive in recent days. 

Trump on Monday walked out of Walter Reed Medical Center after being blindsided by his COVID-19 diagnosis last week, and boarded Marine One back to the White House.  

Trump admitted that his administration previously downplayed the pandemic -and officials were often seen flouting CDC recommendations - but photos taken after his arrival showed a renewed attempt at precaution. 

A member of the White House staff donned a hazmat suit and carried sanitizing spray as he cleaned The James Brady Briefing Room in the West Wing on Monday evening

A member of the White House staff donned a hazmat suit and carried sanitizing spray as he cleaned The James Brady Briefing Room in the West Wing on Monday evening

The briefing room's deep clean came after President Trump was discharged from Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and returned to the White House on Monday evening

The briefing room's deep clean came after President Trump was discharged from Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and returned to the White House on Monday evening

The White House briefing room was recently used by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who announced she contracted the virus last week after an outbreak emerged

The White House briefing room was recently used by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who announced she contracted the virus last week after an outbreak emerged 

Within hours of Trump's return, a White House employee was seen administering a deep clean to parts of the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room. 

The employee donned a protective hazmat suit and carried a cleaning spray to rid the president's quarters of the virus.

The briefing room was used as recently as Thursday by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who was the latest person in the Trump administration to contract COVID-19.

McEnany, 32, continued going to work on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the White House despite Trump testing positive late on Thursday night, and she took her mask off on Sunday to brief reporters. 

She defended her decision to continue coming to work, saying she is an 'essential worker' who was expected there.  

She had been in close contact with the president and others at White House who have tested positive, but repeatedly tested negatively herself until Monday.  

Her assistant, Chad Gilmartin has also tested positive.

Pictured: a member of the White House cleaning crew wore a hazmat suit and carried a sanitizing spray as he scrubbed cleansed a storage closet with Fox News logos

Pictured: a member of the White House cleaning crew wore a hazmat suit and carried a sanitizing spray as he scrubbed cleansed a storage closet with Fox News logos 

 

Some White House journalists have tested positive for COVID-19 after coming into contact with officials in recent days 

At least 13 members of Trump's inner circle, including Melania Trump and Chris Christie, have contracted the virus following a 'superspreader' event last month

At least 13 members of Trump's inner circle, including Melania Trump and Chris Christie, have contracted the virus following a 'superspreader' event last month

The White House staff are tested every day with rapid testing kits and have been relying on those results to let people back into the building since Trump's diagnosis last week

The White House staff are tested every day with rapid testing kits and have been relying on those results to let people back into the building since Trump's diagnosis last week

THURSDAY - Mask free while giving her briefing
FRIDAY - Masked at the White House after news of Trumps diagnosis

THURSDAY - Mask free while giving her briefing (left) and FRIDAY (right) masked after Trump's positive diagnosis. She is shown, right, with her deputy, Chad Gilmartin, who tested positive on Saturday. She still went to work the next day and briefed reporters without her mask on 

'After testing negatively consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms,' McEnany said in a statement posted to Twitter.

'As an essential worker, I have worked diligently to provide needed information to the American people at this time. 

'With my recent positive test, I will begin the quarantine process and continue working on behalf of the American people,' she said.

The White House staff are tested every day with rapid testing kits and have been relying on those results to let people back into the building since Trump's diagnosis last week, even though it is commonly known that it can take several days after someone becomes exposed for their viral load to be substantial enough to yield a positive result.  

After McEnany's diagnosis on Monday, White House staffers were sent an email reminding them to stay home if they feel any symptoms.     

Pictured: The White House cleaning staffer sprays the sanitizer over chairs and desks inside the James Brady Briefing Room of the White House on Monday evening

Pictured: The White House cleaning staffer sprays the sanitizer over chairs and desks inside the James Brady Briefing Room of the White House on Monday evening 

The Trump administration had previously downplayed the severity of the virus early on in the pandemic, but it recently inundated the White House last week

The Trump administration had previously downplayed the severity of the virus early on in the pandemic, but it recently inundated the White House last week 

When Trump was dropped off at the White House, the took off his mask almost immediately despite being sick with COVID and depending on a cocktail of experimental drugs for his recovery.  

Trump saluted, waved, and then started filming a video on the balcony of the South Portico, returning to an executive mansion where multiple aides and household staff also have the virus, and from where he promises he will soon leave to hit the campaign trail. 

Removing his mask was a jarring end to three days of drama which saw him medevaced to Walter Reed on Marine One on Friday, revealed to have been on oxygen repeatedly, and treated with drugs not available to ordinary Americans.

Two staffers were visible behind him: official photographer Andrea Hanks filmed his arrival back to the executive mansion with a videographer standing by for a campaign video.

Less than half an hour later the video emerged: a slow-motion, cinematic production showing an apparently vital commander-in-chief’s return, with only the site of Marines in masks giving away the fact that Trump was so ill that he was given oxygen and steroids normally reserved for people on ventilators. 

Also waiting his arrival was trade adviser Peter Navarro, 71, who stood at the entrance.

Navarro is himself at elevated risk thanks to his age but he has been an advocate of hydroxychloroquine in the past.  

Donald Trump arrived back at the White House on Monday night and immediately filmed a campaign video

Donald Trump arrived back at the White House on Monday night and immediately filmed a campaign video


President Donald Trump walked up the steps of the White House then paused to take his face mask off before entering

President Donald Trump walked up the steps of the White House then paused to take his face mask off before entering

Donald Trump, whose infection with COVID-19 was confirmed at 1am on Friday, removed his face mask on Monday night

Donald Trump, whose infection with COVID-19 was confirmed at 1am on Friday, removed his face mask on Monday night 

Donald Trump took off his face mask to stand on the balcony, without a mask, with staff members near by

Donald Trump took off his face mask to stand on the balcony, without a mask, with staff members near by

The president gave his trademark pose of two thumbs up as he returned home after his hospital treatment

The president gave his trademark pose of two thumbs up as he returned home after his hospital treatment


Donald Trump arrived back at the White House on Monday evening, taking his face mask off despite being infectious

Donald Trump arrived back at the White House on Monday evening, taking his face mask off despite being infectious 

The president on Monday night returned to the White House, where Melania Trump is fighting COVID-19

The president on Monday night returned to the White House, where Melania Trump is fighting COVID-19

The White House was lit up for the return of the president, after three nights in the Walter Reed military hospital

The White House was lit up for the return of the president, after three nights in the Walter Reed military hospital

Having gone inside, Trump went back out to the balcony almost immediately, apparently to reshoot the video – extending the exposure of his aides to the virus.

His move was on the day that the CDC officially warned that the coronavirus is spread through the air.

Trump returns to a White House which has been devastated by the virus since he left. Inside the residence is the sick First Lady; upstairs in the housekeeping department two staff have tested positive.

In the West Wing, McEnanany and two of her aides have tested positive – after she tested negative for days and spent the time briefing reporters without a mask – along with others members of his inner circle.

His bodyman Nick Luna, one of the few staff who moves between the East and West Wings, is positive; his attorney general Bill Barr, 70, is self-isolating after going to the unveiling of Amy Coney Barrett as the Supreme Court nominee on the previous Saturday and funding himself at a super spreader event.

Chris Christie, who was there and prepared Trump for his debate, is in the hospital after testing positive. Three Republican senators, two clerics – a Catholic priest and an evangelical pastor – and his former aide Kellyanne Conway are all positive after the same event.

Outside his polls have plunged again, his rival Biden hit the campaign trail and then national television with a town hall at 8pm EST on NBC with Lester Holt from Florida, where Republicans are fighting a rearguard action against a tide of Democratic cash.  

Before he left Walter Reed Trump tweeted 'do not let it dominate your life' after receiving the combination of experimental treatments. The U.S. death toll stood at 210,013 and earlier in the day Dr Anthony Fauci warned that the country was 'not in a good place.'  

On Monday evening his campaign released a parody video of the president dodging what appeared to be the coronavirus before scoring a touchdown. 

In the clip, which is a parody of a San Francisco 49ers game highlight, shows Trump's face on the body of rookie wide receiver, Brandon Aiyuk. 

The video shows Trump hurdling a defender that appeared to be the coronavirus.  

Trump is then seen making a touchdown before being tackled by another player. 

The real moment occurred during an NFL game between the 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night. 

The Eagles - the virus - won 25-20. 


Marine One landed back at the White House on Monday evening as the sun was setting

Marine One landed back at the White House on Monday evening as the sun was setting 


Admirers of the president waved and cheered as Marine One took off for the short trip back to the White House

Admirers of the president waved and cheered as Marine One took off for the short trip back to the White House

Trump had walked out of the hospital at 6:40pm.

Before he departed, aides set up lights outside the hospital doors to set the scene for the president's big moment, giving Trump the dramatic, 'made-for-TV' moments he loves. 

Trump turned his exit from the hospital into a show of strength, walking out the door and pumping his fist and giving a thumbs up sign as he walked to an SUV saying: 'Thank you everybody.'

But he was asked by a waiting reporter: 'How many of your staff are sick? Are you a super spreader?'

He wore a surgical mask.  

He was followed by Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, Dan Scavino, his director of social media, and Dr Sean Conley, his osteopath White House physician. 

All three of the aides were wearing face shields and what appeared to be N-95 masks. They were followed by Secret Service agents, also in more PPE than Trump.  

Marine One lifted off at 6:45pm, and landed at 6:55pm on the South Lawn of the White House. 

Marine One's crew will have to isolate for 14 days, and the helicopter will have to be deep cleaned. 

On arrival at the White House, his walk up the stairs was no doubt a show of fitness.

But his flagrant disregard of medical guidelines with his removal of his face mask will add to the criticism he's faced about how he's managed his diagnosis.   


Donald Trump left the hospital on Monday evening to shouted questions as to whether he was a super spreader

Donald Trump left the hospital on Monday evening to shouted questions as to whether he was a super spreader

Donald Trump gave the thumbs up as he left the Walter Reed medical center at 6:40pm on Monday

Donald Trump gave the thumbs up as he left the Walter Reed medical center at 6:40pm on Monday

The president, dressed in a navy suit and tie and wearing a face mask, strode out of the hospital on Monday evening

The president, dressed in a navy suit and tie and wearing a face mask, strode out of the hospital on Monday evening

The 74-year-old president walked out the golden doors and down the steps at 6:40pm on Monday

The 74-year-old president walked out the golden doors and down the steps at 6:40pm on Monday

The New York-born billionaire's Secret Service detail were all wearing face masks as he left the hospital on Monday

The New York-born billionaire's Secret Service detail were all wearing face masks as he left the hospital on Monday

Marine One is seen arriving at Walter Reed on Monday evening to collect the president from the hospital

Marine One is seen arriving at Walter Reed on Monday evening to collect the president from the hospital

The president is flying from the hospital in Bethesda, Maryland back to the White House - a journey of only a few minutes

The president is flying from the hospital in Bethesda, Maryland back to the White House - a journey of only a few minutes

Trump, 74, was admitted to Walter Reed on Friday amid reports he had trouble breathing and had a fever. 

He has received care from the best doctors in the country, and has been driven around in an SUV to wave at fans who lined up outside to greet him - a move that outraged critics who said he put Secret Service agents' lives at risk for a political stunt. 

'Will be back on the Campaign Trail soon!!!' he tweeted on Monday evening, shortly before departing. 

'The Fake News only shows the Fake Polls.'  

Crowds of supporters held a vigil outside the hospital, and were rewarded with the drive-by. 

People wore 'Make America Great Again' paraphernalia, waved campaign signs and hoisted Americans flags.

One woman waved a 'we [heart] u Mr. Trump sign' while another man waved a 'We [heart] Trump' sign.  

Supporters of the president gathered outside the Walter Reed hospital on Monday awaiting his release

Supporters of the president gathered outside the Walter Reed hospital on Monday awaiting his release

The president's fans on Monday were out in force outside Walter Reed, hoping to see the president as he left the hospital

The president's fans on Monday were out in force outside Walter Reed, hoping to see the president as he left the hospital

On Monday, just four days after he tested positive with the deadly virus, he tweeted: 'I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don't be afraid of Covid.

'Don't let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!' 

Shortly after his message, doctors appeared outside the hospital to say that while Trump was not 'out of the woods', they were satisfied he could go home. 

They refused to share details of his health, like when he last tested negative, citing medical privacy laws as reasons not to share information like the results of a lung scan.  

The doctors said Trump will receive his fourth remdesivir dose on Monday night before he leaves the hospital, and his fifth on Tuesday. 

The president's kidney and liver function are both good, they said. His temperature on Monday was 98.1F. 

The doctors defended their treatment of him and of the decision to discharge him, saying he has some of the best care in the world at the White House.  

'Every day a patient stays in the hospital unnecessarily is a risk to themselves. There's nothing being done here that can't be done safely at home,' said Dr Sean Conley, presidential physician. 

'That's why we all remain cautiously optimistic and on guard. 

'We all remain cautiously optimistic and on guard, because we're in a bit of uncharted territory when it comes to a patient that received the therapies he has so early in the course.' 

The president's team of doctors speaking outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday

The president's team of doctors speaking outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday

Dr Sean Conley would not give the results of a lung scan, citing patient privacy laws. He called Trump a 'phenomenal patient'

Dr Sean Conley would not give the results of a lung scan, citing patient privacy laws. He called Trump a 'phenomenal patient'

The White House released a photo of Trump on Sunday night taking part in a phone call from Walter Reed

The White House released a photo of Trump on Sunday night taking part in a phone call from Walter Reed 


He later added: 'He's back!' 

Dr Conley cited patient confidentiality laws during the press conference when asked about Trump's lungs. 

He did however say that his liver and kidney function were good and that Trump did not put any pressure on doctors to release him, despite earlier reports that he was 'done' with staying in hospital and was 'demanding' to be discharged on Sunday.

'The president has been a phenomenal patient during his stay here,' said Dr Conley. 

'He has been working hand in glove. Today it got the point, he's holding court, going over all the specifics, the testing, what the future is. 

'We've been back and forth on what's safe or reasonable. 

'He has never once pushed us to do anything that was not sage and reasonable.'

The doctor said that Trump was 'a little dehydrated on Friday' but he was able to recover from that. 

'Everything looks great. There is no evidence of live virus present that he could transfer to others,' he said. 

'We're checking him more routinely than waiting 10 days. We will know as soon as possible - then we'll look at him clinically. How are you feeling? How are you doing?'  

Fourteen people in Trump's inner-circle have now tested positive with the deadly virus that has claimed more than 210,000 American lives.  

He has been desperate to get back to the White House since Sunday and, according to aides, fears that staying in hospital any longer will make him look weak.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was the latest person in the president's inner circle to test positive for COVID-19, three days after Trump confirmed he'd been infected.  

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen were both tested again on Monday and tested negative, as did Joe Biden.  

It comes amid claims that the President knew he had tested positive with the virus on Thursday night but kept it secret during an interview on Fox.   

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Monday insisted to Fox News that Trump was in good health and made 'good progress'.  

He also defended Trump's outing on Sunday, as have other allies including former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and Rudy Giuliani.  

Meadows said: 'He is ready to get back to a normal working schedule.' 

In a flurry of tweets starting at 6.30am on Monday, Trump boasted about the stock markets, promised to deliver more tax cuts and listed 'pro life', 'space force', 'religious liberty' and 'law and order' as among reasons why he should win again. 

Over the weekend, Trump released several video addresses where he promised to be in good health despite his diagnosis, and the White House shared photographs of him working at the hospital. 

He claims to have been meeting some of the wounded veterans who are also being treated in the hospital. 

On Sunday night, he made a surprise appearance outside the hospital to thank fans who had turned out with signs, flags and banners wishing him a speedy recovery. 

Trump said he was touched by the outpouring of support and wanted to show his appreciation. 

But doctors - including one from Walter Reed - say it was irresponsible of him to get into the presidential SUV with Secret Service agents and risk infecting them.  

Dr James Phillips, a Walter Reed attending doctor, condemned the president's Sunday afternoon drive, which violated Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.

Meadows dismissed the criticism on Monday morning in an interview with Fox. 

'The president expressed appreciation to some of the people outside Walter Reed yesterday. Even that was   getting criticism.

'How do we think that he got here? We came in Marine One. The agent who's been with him... we took additional precautions with PPE. 

'A number of folks are just trying to make a big deal of that when indeed, I know that myself and some of the Secret Service detail are right there with him trying to make sure he's protected each and every day and that he returns to the White House as expeditiously as possible.' 

Corey Lewandowski, his former campaign manager, also defended the outing. 

He told Today that the agents involved volunteered to drive him and came under no duress. 

'The president wanted to thank all the supporters. The detail leader and the driver both volunteered for that assignment.

'They were not required to do that. 

'They volunteered. There was a piece of plexiglass between the two agents and the president.

'The president wanted to show his supporters how much he appreciated them and show that you can still continue to function with COVID-19. He's a leader. He wants to lead. This was the president out thanking his supporters for supporting him.' 

In an interview with Good Morning America on Monday morning, Dr. Phillips doubled down on his claims that it was irresponsible.

'I don't know what the benefits of this political stunt were, but I do know what the risks were. 

'My concern is that perhaps the Secret Service agents were inside don't know the full risk of what they were up against. 

'So far as the military and Johns Hopkins physicians who are taking care of this patient, they're excellent. 

'But they are also under undue pressure and a lot of influence outside of that normal physician-patient relationship.

'Influence weighs heavy and when we're dealing with a highly unusual environment like  what we're in right now, the question is - and I'd love to hear the answer from some military physician folks - where does that line between that physician patient relationship come into contact with the commanding officer and subordinate relationship?' 

Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University's Emergency Medicine division, and a Covid-19 consultant specializing on how to reopen safely, said that the design of the presidential vehicle, specifically modified to protect the passengers from attacks, made the drive even more dangerous.

'That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack,' he continued. 

'The risk of COVID19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play.

'Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential 'drive-by' just now has to be quarantined for 14 days,' Phillips pointed out. 

'They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.' 

The CDC website explicitly states that COVID patients should stay at home except to get medical care. 

In their section advising healthcare workers, the CDC states: 'In general, transport and movement of a patient with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection outside of their room should be limited to medically essential purposes.'  

Doctors said the president's treatment with dexamethasone - a steroid used for patients who require extra oxygen - is the clearest sign yet that Trump may have a severe case of COVID-19.  

THURSDAY - Mask free while giving her briefing
FRIDAY - Masked at the White House after news of Trumps diagnosis

THURSDAY - Mask free while giving her briefing (left) and FRIDAY (right) masked after Trump's positive diagnosis. She is shown, right, with her deputy, Chad Gilmartin, who tested positive on Saturday. She still went to work the next day and briefed reporters without her mask on 

McEnany took her mask off to speak to reporters on Sunday
McEnany took her mask off to speak to reporters on Sunday but she wore it while walking around

SUNDAY: McEnany took her mask off to speak to reporters on Sunday. She knew by then that her assistant had also tested positive with the virus, but she did test positive until Monday morning. McEnany wore the mask while walking around (right) throughout the rest of the day

Other doctors also took issue with Trump's medical team's rosy picture of his health. 

'People can be doing OK, but it can get rocky very quickly,' said Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security. 

The experts told the Washington Post that Trump's medical team has withheld key information about his condition, and that he was on a 'kitchen sink' regimen of monoclonal antibodies, the anti-viral remdesivir, and steroids. 

'For someone sick enough to have required remdesivir and dexamethasone, I can't think of a situation in which a patient would be OK to leave on day three, even with the White House's medical capacity,' Robert Wachter, chairman of the University of California at San Francisco's department of medicine, told the paper.  

A second doctor, Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, echoed Dr Phillips' condemnation.

'By taking a joy ride outside Walter Reed the president is placing his Secret Service detail at grave risk,' he said. 

'In the hospital when we go into close contact with a COVID patient we dress in full PPE: Gown, gloves, N95, eye protection, hat. This is the height of irresponsibility.' 

And Dr Craig Spencer, an ER doctor who survived Ebola and is currently director of global health in emergency medicine at Columbia University, was shocked at the president's 'joyride'. 

'Moments after stating 'I learned a lot about COVID', the President takes a joyride in an enclosed space with presumably #COVID19 negative people, all while on experimental medications,' he said. 

NBC News' Peter Alexander said on Sunday night that he had asked why Melania Trump was not visiting her husband, and was told it was because she did not want anyone else to become infected.

'Reminder: A White House official, on Saturday, told me the First Lady would not be visiting Trump at Walter Reed because 'she has COVID and that would expose the agents who would drive her there,'' he tweeted.  

A crowd Trump's supporters gathered outside the Bethesda, Maryland, hospital - and many were not wearing face masks.

Cleaning staff in hazmat suits sanitize the West Wing after Trump returned to the White House and a cluster of staff and reporters tested positive for COVID Cleaning staff in hazmat suits sanitize the West Wing after Trump returned to the White House and a cluster of staff and reporters tested positive for COVID Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 07:14 Rating: 5

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