Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP lawmaker calls on Pelosi to apologize for response to Trump contracting coronavirus Pelosi: ‘We’re making progress’ on coronavirus relief bill What President Trump’s positive COVID test could mean for the markets MORE (D-Calif.) suggested Monday President TrumpDonald John TrumpQuestions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight White House staffers get email saying to stay home if they experience coronavirus symptoms White House says ‘appropriate precautions’ were taken for Trump’s outing to see supporters MORE‘s plan to return quickly to the White House was motivated by politics, not health and science, warning that the decision will set a dangerous example to a country still reeling under the weight of the coronavirus.
“The president could be going back to the White House and become a long-hauler, someone who has consequences from this virus,” she said in an interview with MSNBC. “He should not be dealing with it politically to make it look like he overcame the virus because he’s had such good policies. Because in fact, he has been very destructive and dangerous to the country.”
Trump on Friday was admitted to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., less than 24 hours after he announced that he and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpGOP lawmaker calls on Pelosi to apologize for response to Trump contracting coronavirus White House gave New Jersey officials list of 206 people at Trump’s Thursday fundraiser events Photo of Mark Meadows rubbing his head during update on Trump’s health goes viral MORE both tested positive for COVID-19.
On Sunday, after initially refusing to answer pointed questions about the president’s symptoms, White House physician Sean Conley revealed that Trump’s condition had deteriorated to the point that he was given supplemental oxygen, as well as the steroid dexamethasone, which has been used largely to treat severe cases of COVID-19.
Appearing at Walter Reed on Monday just moments after Pelosi spoke, Conley said Trump was clear to leave the facility and return to the White House. The president had not experienced a fever in 72 hours, Conley said, and his oxygen levels “are all normal.”
“Though he may not entirely be out of the woods yet, the team and I agree that all our evaluations, and most importantly his clinical status, support the president’s safe return home, where he’ll be surrounded by world-class medical care 24/7,” he said.
Conley has come under heavy scrutiny from the medical community for what some consider an overly rosy depiction of Trump’s condition and recuperation. Pelosi on Monday piled on, suggesting the president’s medical team is taking marching orders from Trump rather than delivering sound evaluations.
“I hope that we could trust them, but what is disconcerting is that we know that the president’s physicians present a report that must be approved by the president,” she said. “That’s not scientific. That is not what the public is owed about the state of health of the president of the United States.”
Conley on Sunday defended his reluctance to provide details a day earlier, saying he didn’t want to relay “any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction.”
“I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, over his course of illness, has had,” he said.
That argument fell flat with a number of Democrats, who have called for full transparency regarding Trump’s health from the start.
“It is not Dr. Conley’s job to lift the spirits of the American people. It’s actually to tell the truth,” Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuThe spin on Woodward’s tapes reveals the hypocrisy of Democrats Larry Kudlow defends response to coronavirus: Trump ‘led wisely’ Lieu on Trump ‘playing it down’ on coronavirus: ‘This is reckless homicide’ MORE (D-Calif.) told reporters Monday. “The American people can figure out what to do with the facts. But if he’s going to mislead the American people then he really should not be giving these press conferences. It should be another doctor.”
Amid the nation’s infatuation with Trump’s illness and recuperation, party leaders in Washington are still fighting to secure an agreement on another round of emergency coronavirus stimulus.
On Monday morning, Pelosi spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTrump pushes for new coronavirus stimulus deal: ‘GET IT DONE’ Trump’s illness sparks new urgency for COVID-19 deal On The Money: Economy adds 661K jobs in final report before Election Day | House approves .2T COVID-19 relief bill as White House talks stall | Stand-alone bill to provide relief for airlines blocked on House floor MORE for roughly an hour, according to Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill, as the two power-brokers seek to iron out the stubborn differences that have dogged the talks for weeks.
“The two discussed the justifications for various numbers and plan to exchange paper today in preparation for another phone call tomorrow,” Hammill tweeted.
Pelosi later suggested the pair is making progress, but declined to say if a deal is possible this week.
“One way or another — it depends on if they really want to crush the virus, honor our heroes and put money in the pockets of the American people,” she said.
House Democrats had passed a $2.2 trillion package last week, and Pelosi has so far held firm at that number. But the proposal was rejected by Mnuchin and Republicans in the administration who offered a $1.6 trillion counter-proposal — a figure Democrats deem too low to address the ongoing health and economic crisis.
“I think all Democrats are willing to compromise,” Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineHouse approves .2T COVID-19 relief bill as White House talks stall Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads tying refugees to coronavirus Clark rolls out endorsements in assistant Speaker race MORE (D-R.I.), the head of the Democrats’ messaging arm said Monday on a press call. “But we also think it’s important that the bill be meaningful and that it actually provides the relief that’s necessary, not just some check-the-box-we-did-something [proposal].”