US President Donald Trump has earlier exhorted Americans not to be afraid of the disease as he feels "better than he did 20 years ago!"

US President Donald Trump during a phone call in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on October 4, 2020.
US President Donald Trump during a phone call in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on October 4, 2020. (Reuters)

President Donald Trump has been released from the military hospital where for three days he received an unprecedented level of care for Covid-19. 

Wearing a mask and stepping gingerly on Monday, Trump left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for a waiting SUV that carried him to Marine One for the short helicopter flight back to the White House.  

Trump, who remains contagious, was expected to continue his recovery from the White House, where he will be cared for 24/7 by a team of doctors and nurses. 

Still, he indicated he won't be kept off the campaign trail for long, tweeting “Will be back on the Campaign Trail soon!!!" 

His return comes as the White House is still learning the extent of the outbreak that has sickened over a dozen close contacts of the president over the last week. 

READ MORE: Trump's medical status unclear as doctors suggest Monday discharge

Outbreak within White House

Trump’s return comes as the White House is still learning of the scale of the outbreak within the complex. Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday morning.

White House officials said Trump was anxious to be released after three nights at the hospital where doctors revealed on Sunday that his blood oxygen level had dropped suddenly twice in recent days and that they gave him a steroid typically only recommended for the very sick. 

Still, the doctors said Trump’s health was improving and he could be discharged as early as Monday to continue the remainder of his treatment at the White House.

Trump “is ready to get back to a normal work schedule” and was optimistic about a Monday release, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Fox News.

READ MORE: WHO believes 10 percent of world has had Covid-19 – latest updates

Healthy ride

Less than one month before Election Day, Trump was eager to project strength despite his illness. The still-infectious president surprised supporters who had gathered outside the hospital, riding by Sunday in a black SUV with the windows rolled up.
Secret Service agents inside the vehicle could be seen in masks and other protective gear.

The move capped a weekend of contradictions that fueled confusion about Trump’s health, which has imperilled the leadership of the US government and upended the final stages of the presidential campaign. 

While Trump’s physician offered a rosy prognosis on his condition, his briefings lacked basic information, including the findings of lung scans, or were quickly muddled by more serious assessments of the president's health by other officials.

In a short video released by the White House on Sunday, Trump insisted he understood the gravity of the moment. But his actions moments later, by leaving the hospital and sitting inside the SUV with others, suggested otherwise.

READ MORE: Trump leaves hospital briefly to greet supporters outside

Source: TRTWorld and agencies