Donald Trump walked out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday following his treatment for the coronavirus, and video showed him not answering a reporter’s question about whether he’s a “super spreader” of the virus.
Trump left the hospital to return to the White House after receiving treatment for several days. He had announced in the early morning hours on Friday that both he and the first lady had tested positive for the virus, and doctors said he later suffered a drop in oxygen that led to him being taken in for medical treatment.
The president has come under fire from critics who said that he failed to take proper precautions to protect those around him, often appearing in public while not wearing a mask and continuing to hold large public gatherings. That included a reception to announce the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court that drew a number of top Republicans and White House insiders. Many of those have since tested positive, leading to allegations that Trump could be responsible for a “super spreader” event.
As shown on a clip shared on Twitter by Vox reporter Aaron Rupar showed, Trump did not answer a question about whether he believes he was responsible for the latest spate of White House-related infections. It was not clear whether the president purposely ignored the question or did not hear it.
Here's video of Trump leaving Walter Reed and ignoring a question about "do you think you are a superspreader, Mr. President?" pic.twitter.com/zbaGMSHYd1
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 5, 2020
His administration has come under fire for the surge in cases and its potential connection to the reception held earlier this month. As USA Today noted in an article published before Trump left the hospital, the Rose Garden reception honoring Barrett included more than 180 people sitting close to each other for an extended time, with many not wearing masks.
“That combination may have resulted in a super spreader event, the type that leads to a cluster of infections,” the report noted. “Others at the ceremony who tested positive for the virus include GOP Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina; John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame University; and a reporter covering the announcement.”
The report added that while there is no precise definition for such an event, it is generally seen as a gathering that leads to a higher-than-normal transmission rate and where between 10 and 20 percent of carriers are responsible for 80 percent of new transmissions.
Despite the spike in COVID-19 cases, the Trump campaign has said it plans to move forward and said that he still plans to participate in the second presidential debate, planned for next week.