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Trump’s surprise drive-by

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

President Trump sent supporters wild as he made a brief surprise drive-by outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in the back of an SUV.

US President Donald Trump sent his supporters wild with delight as he made a brief surprise drive-by outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in a black SUV, wearing a face mask.

Footage showed Mr Trump in the back of a Secret Service vehicle waving to large crowds who had gathered since he was admitted to hospital with coronavirus. However, at least one doctor from the hospital was unhappy with Mr Trump's shock move, alleging he had put lives at risk for "political theatre".

Mr Trump used Twitter to tip off supporters something unusual was about to happen, just before his cavalcade made a slow drive around streets outside the hospital.

US President Donald Trump briefly left the hospital in his car to wave to supporters gathered outside.Donald Trump waves to supporters outside the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.President Donald Trump waves as he drives past supporters gathered outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

"I also think we will pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots that we have out on the street," Mr Trump said in a video message posted to Twitter.

"They've been out there for a long time and they have Trump flags and they love our country.

"So I'm not telling anybody but you, but I'm about to make a little surprise visit."

READ MORE: What we know and don't know about Trump's coronvirus diagnosis

Mr Trump said he had "learned a lot" about COVID-19 since he contracted the virus.

"It's been a very interesting journey," Mr Trump said, adding his time in hospital was like "really going to school... this is the real school."

The president also used the video message to thank the doctors and nurses who had been looking after him.

He said the experience had helped him "understand" the coronavirus.

"I get it and I understand it and it's a very interesting thing, and I will let you know about it."

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The crowd outside the hospital, who have been honking horns and waving flags for more than a day, went wild with delight as the motorcade went by.

"I am going to get emotional," one woman told 9News reporter Alexis Daish.

"I thought he was going home for a second. I thought he was going home early and then I realised he was doing that just to come out and show us that he has support of us supporting him.

"It was just something I will never forget. It's amazing."

People in Trump vehicle 'may die'

At least one medical professional inside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, questioned whether Mr Trump had really learned anything about the virus that has swept through Republican leadership.

"Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary presidential 'drive-by' just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theatre. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theatre. This is insanity," Dr. James P. Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed, tweeted.

Mr Trump's doctors revealed today that they gave the president a steroid treatment typically only recommended for the very sick.

But they sidestepped questions about exactly when Trump's blood oxygen dropped — an episode they neglected to mention in multiple statements the day before — or whether lung scans showed any damage.

Mr Trump had been expected to leave Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as early as tomorrow.

The president's visit came shortly after he promised his supporters "a surprise" in a video posted a video on social media.President Donald Trump declared, "I get it," in a message to the nation Sunday evening before briefly leaving the hospital to salute cheering supporters from his motorcade.

Earlier in the day, Mr Trump's doctor said he "continued to improve" and suggested he could be discharged soon.

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Mr Trump's blood oxygen level dropped suddenly twice in recent days, but he "has continued to improve" since then, the White House physician said today, adding a new layer of confusion to the president's fight with COVID-19.

Mr Biden was today at home in Wilmington, Delaware, with no plans for in-person campaigning or other public appearances.

Having already tested negative, he is expected to release the results of a new coronavirus test later in the day.

His campaign has pledged to disclose those results and all other future test results for the 77-year-old candidate.

With Associated Press

Source: 9News

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