Awaiting hospital release, Trump fires off election tweetstorm


The tweetstorm came after Donald Trump sparked an angry backlash with a protocol-breaking visit to supporters outside the hospital where he is being treated for COVID-19.

FILE: US President Donald Trump. Picture: AFP

WASHINGTON – Donald Trump’s doctors were to decide Monday whether he is recovered enough to leave hospital and continue COVID-19 treatment at the White House, as the president signalled his determination to return to the election campaign with an early morning tweetstorm.

Conflicting official updates since Trump’s hospitalisation on Friday have created confusion over his health, but his chief of staff said the 74-year-old’s condition had improved overnight, raising hopes he could be discharged during the day.

“We are still optimistic that based on his unbelievable progress and – and how strong he has been in terms of his fight against this COVID-19 disease, that he will be released,” Mark Meadows told Fox News.

“But that decision won’t be made until later today.”

Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis has upended the White House race less than a month from polling day – and cast a harsh spotlight on the president’s much criticised management of the pandemic which has claimed over 200,000 American lives.

Eager to portray himself as in charge despite his sickness, Trump sent 15 block-capital tweets in 30 minutes, appealing to voters by claiming a record of successes in his first term including tax cuts and stock market highs, and protecting gun rights and religious liberties.

The tweetstorm came after the president sparked an angry backlash with a protocol-breaking visit to supporters outside the hospital where he is being treated.

He was masked as he waved from inside his bulletproof vehicle during the short trip outside Walter Reed military medical centre near Washington on Sunday evening.

Trump, who has been repeatedly rebuked for flouting public health advice and spreading misinformation on the pandemic, said in a video on Twitter just before his outing that he had “learned a lot about COVID” by undergoing treatment.

But experts complained he had broken his own government’s guidelines requiring patients to isolate while they are in treatment and still shedding virus – and had also endangered his Secret Service protection.

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