KEY POINTS

  • Trump left his hospital room on Sunday to "surprise" his supporters
  • The president was accompanied by two Secret Service agents during his brief motorcade
  • He also thanked his "patriotic" supporters for gathering outside the facility

President Donald Trump on Sunday hosted a motorcade as a "surprise" for his supporters gathered outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center despite testing positive for COVID-19.

The president tweeted a video of himself where he promised his supporters gathered outside the hospital a "little surprise." 

"We're going to pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots that we have," Trump said. "They've been out there for a long time, and they've got 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."

Shortly after his tweet, the president's motorcade was recorded making a brief appearance, with Trump waving and giving a thumbs up from the backseat. Two Secret Service agents accompanied him. 

On Saturday night, a crowd had gathered outside the hospital to attend a prayer vigil hosted by Women for American First. They sold MAGA hats and Trump cookies, Fox News reported. 

The supporters returned Sunday morning. Most waved flags and honked car horns — others left flowers on the sign outside the medical facility's main entrance. In a tweet earlier in the day, Trump offered his thanks to the supporters rallying outside Walter Reed. 

"I really appreciate all of the fans and supporters outside of the hospital," the tweet read. "The fact is, they really love our Country and are seeing how we are MAKING IT GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE!"

Footage of the event and the president's motorcade circulated in various social media platforms, eliciting safety concerns and outrage. Zeke Miller, the White House Correspondents Association president, released a statement where he called Trump "outrageous" for leaving the hospital without a protective pool, The Hill reported.  

Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss also slammed the president for "riding in an SUV waving to supporters" and "jeopardizing the Secret Service agents."

On Sunday, James Phillips, an attending physician at the Walter Reed Medical Center, took a swipe at President Trump for putting other people at risk of contracting the virus.

"That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack. 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," Phillips tweeted.

"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 theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity."

US President Donald Trump US says he is doing well, but that the next few days will be the "rel test". He posted a video on Twitter ahead of a second night in hospital, where he is being treated for Covid-19. US President Donald Trump US says he is doing well, but that the next few days will be the "real test". He posted a video on Twitter ahead of a second night in hospital, where he is being treated for Covid-19. Photo: TWITTER / @realDonaldTrump