“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary presidential drive-by just now has to be quarantined for 14 days,” said James Phillips, the chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University. “They might get sick. They may die. For political theatre. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theatre. This is insanity.”
Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, hit back at the criticism and said additional precautions had been taken to ensure the agents’ safety.
Mr Meadows pointed out that the agents had already been exposed to the virus while transporting Mr Trump from the White House to the Walter Reed centre, where he has been treated since Friday.
“Here’s the interesting thing – they’re criticising, ‘well, he put his Secret Service agents at risk’. Well… how do we think he got here [to Walter Reed]?” he told Fox News on Monday. “We took additional precautions with PPE [personal protective equipment] and others to make sure that they were protected.”
White House spokesman Judd Deere said Mr Trump’s drive-by was “cleared by the medical team as safe to do”.
“Appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the president and all those supporting it,” he said.