President Donald Trump was airlifted to Washington D.C.’s Walter Reed Military Medical Center Friday evening on Marine One after announcing he was sick with COVID-19 just hours earlier. The president’s hospitalization marked an escalation in his medical care, at the end of a day in which White House officials downplayed the severity of his illness by projecting the image of a man still at work and in control. The White House said that his stay at Walter Reed will last several days. Earlier, the president’s doctor announced that he had received an experimental antibody drug.
Trump emerged from the White House around 6:15pm, on foot. He waved at reporters and gave a thumbs up, before boarding the helicopter for the short twilight flight, a historic visual moment for a presidency that has staked out a denialist position on the virus since the start of the pandemic. He didn’t take questions, and he was wearing a mask. The entire trip was broadcast live by news cameras, making for a dramatic scene as Marine One flew across the D.C. sunset.
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