Trump is reportedly 'bored' watching TV at Walter Reed, 'angry' at how his illness is being covered

Trump at Walter Reed
(Image credit: Tia Dufour/The White House/Getty Images)

President Trump's doctors and advisers have been sending mixed signals about his health, openly acknowledging that the rosy picture they are painting on TV is mostly for Trump's benefit, even as they admit he had a high fever and two episodes where his blood oxygen levels dropped to dangerous levels and is being given treatments that strongly suggest at least a moderately severe COVID-19 case.

The president, meanwhile, is reportedly getting antsy and eager to leave his suite at Walter Reed Medical Center. "Trump told advisers on Sunday that he was getting bored being in the hospital and was tiring of watching coverage of his hospitalization," The Washington Post reports. He has also "told allies he wants to come back to the White House Monday, but there is some fear among his advisers that it is a political decision — and that he could relapse and have to return to Walter Reed."

"Trump, who historically hates hospitals and anything related to illness, has been hankering to get released," two people close to the president tell The New York Times, "and some aides expressed fear that he would pressure [White House physician] Dr. [Sean] Conley into releasing him by claiming to feel better than he actually does. But advisers were also troubled by the doctors' prediction that they might release him on Monday because if they do not, it would signal that the president is not doing as well as indicated." The Times added:

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The president has also been watching lots of television, even more than usual, and has been exasperated by coverage of Saturday's calamitous handling of his medical information by Dr. Conley and [Chief of Staff Mark] Meadows, as well as speculation about him transferring powers to Vice President Mike Pence. He was also angry that no one was on television defending him, as he often is when he cannot inject his own views into news media coverage, aides said. [The New York Times]

So maybe Trump is feeling relatively normal. But several medical experts said it would be a serious mistake for Trump to return to the White House before he's past the critical window of 7-10 days after diagnosis.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.