Ever since President Donald Trump announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, advocates of the president gathered outside the hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.
There were a handful of pro-Trump supporters on Friday night, then hundreds assembled on Saturday for a prayer rally for the president. Enthusiasts for the president were back out in front of Walter Reed on Sunday to provide encouragement for Trump as he battles the coronavirus. Trump thanked his followers for their support with an impromptu drive-by on Sunday.
A masked Trump waved to supporters and gave a thumbs-up from inside a black SUV as the president's caravan drove outside Walter Reed.
BREAKING: President @realDonaldTrump greets supporters outside of Walter Reed: https://t.co/2BSt2Xz2te— Benny (@Benny) 1601846669.0
That’s Trump driving by his supporters outside Walter Reed military hospital. https://t.co/eqA0RGkr6A— Philip Crowther (@Philip Crowther) 1601846401.0
President @realDonaldTrump just came out to thank his supporters in front of Walter Reed! Get well soon President T… https://t.co/d5ax8qQNYj— Megan Powers (@Megan Powers) 1601846729.0
"President Trump took a short, last-minute motorcade ride to wave to his supporters outside and has now returned to the Presidential Suite inside Walter Reed," deputy White House press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.
Only minutes before the president's drive-by, Trump posted a video on Twitter where he teased the "surprise visit" to the "great patriots out on the street."
"We're getting great reports from the doctors," Trump said while wearing an unbuttoned white dress shirt and navy blue suit. "This is an incredible hospital, Walter Reed. The work they do is just absolutely amazing, and I want to thank them all. The nurses, the doctors, everybody here.
"It's been a very interesting journey, I learned a lot about COVID," Trump said in the video. "I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. This isn't the let's-read-the-book school, and I get it, and I understand it. And it's a very interesting thing and I'm going to be letting you know about.
"In the meantime, we love the U.S.A, and we love what's happening," the president concluded.
https://t.co/0Bm9W2u1x7— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1601846199.0
Trump's surprise visit happened hours after the president's team of doctors said the Trump could be discharged from Walter Reed as early as Monday as long as his condition continues to improve.
"If he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is that we can plan for a discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House where he can continue his treatment course," Dr. Brian Garibaldi, a specialist in pulmonary critical care, said on Sunday.
Trump's physicians administered a dose of the steroid dexamethasone to him on Saturday.
Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley, Trump's physician, noted, "I'd like to reiterate how pleased we all are with the president's recovery."