By ArLuther Lee – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tim Darnell – Atlanta Journal-Constitution
President Donald Trump was released from Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday evening after spending the last three days being treated at the facility for the coronavirus, even though his chief physician said the commander in chief “is not entirely out of the woods yet.”
The president emerged about 6:39 p.m. local time and walked out of the hospital under his own strength. He was wearing a protective face mask and did not take questions, although he gave reporters a thumbs-up and said, “Thank you very much.”
Trump arrived at the White House after a roughly 10-minute trip aboard Marine One, which arrived at Walter Reed shortly after 6 p.m., according to reporter Danielle Kurtzleben.
Reports said Trump wanted “to make a dramatic exit” from the hospital by exiting through the golden front doors of the facility on camera, Bloomberg News reported.
Camera lights were erected on the steps just outside the building along with a security perimeter where reporters were gathered.
Before leaving, the president reportedly shot a video inside. After leaving the hospital in an SUV, he was taken to Marine One for the short flight back to the White House.
The president’s helicopter touched down on the South Lawn about 6:54 p.m. Moments later, the president walked up the steps of the South Portico alone, then took off his mask and stood for several minutes, posing for photographs while waving and saluting as Marine One took off again.
White House aides were reportedly not sure the president would follow a plan to avoid the Oval Office upon his return.
Multiple areas inside the residence, including the Map Room, were being prepared for the president to work, according to reports.