Montgomery Co. Executive Rebukes Trump Over Spin Around Walter Reed

    Hours after President Trump’s widely-criticized motorcade trip around Walter Reed Medical Center Sunday, Montgomery County Executive Marc B. Elrich (D) urged the nation’s most famous COVID-19 patient to remain in the hospital, in the interests of public health, until he’s well enough to return to the White House. 

    “Dear Mr. President,” Elrich tweeted. “We take COVID-19 seriously in @MontgomeryCoMd. We ask our residents to act responsibly with family & friends and we expect the same for our guests.”

    “Please think about those caring for you and stay in the hospital until can you return to the White House,” Elrich added in his 11 p.m. Sunday post. 

    Trump’s motorcade trip up Wisconsin Avenue gave him the opportunity to wave at supporters who had gathered outside the hospital at the urging of the Maryland Republican Party.

    The president, who has long downplayed the risks associated with the coronavirus and mocked those who wear masks, was widely criticized for placing the health of his Secret Service detail in jeopardy. Anyone being treated for COVID-19 is at high risk for spreading the sometimes-fatal disease to others, health experts have said.

    A non-military attending physician at Walter Reed National Medical Center was among the medical professionals to harshly criticized Trump’s photo op, CNN reported.

    “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,” Dr. James Phillips tweeted.

    U.S. Rep. Andrew P. Harris (R), a physician and staunch supporter of the president, did not respond to a request for comment via social media on Sunday. He has yet to speak publicly about the president’s infection.

    Elrich’s tweet had been “liked” more that 1,500 times and shared 500 times as of 8:10 a.m.

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    Bruce DePuyt
    Bruce DePuyt spent nearly three decades on local television, including 14 years as executive producer and host of News Talk on NewsChannel 8 in the Washington, D.C., area. He has served as reporter, anchor and producer/host of 21 This Week in Montgomery County and as reporter/anchor at NBC affiliate WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, VA. He's a regular contributor to WTOP (103.5 FM) and frequently moderates community and political events.