Speed Reads

COVID in the White House

Trump still seemingly struggling to breathe after hospital return, White House aides say

President Trump isn't the picture of health he's making himself out to be, White House aides tell The New York Times.

After returning from Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday after his COVID-19 diagnosis and three-day stay, Trump removed his face mask defiantly before entering the White House. Aides say it was supposed to be Trump's display of strength after his hospital visit, even though it put everyone around him at risk because he was still contagious with the virus. "But they also wondered if the face covering was making it harder for the president to breathe," the Times reports. The next day, aides said Trump's voice was stronger than it had been the night before, "but at times he still sounded as if he was trying to catch air," the Times writes.

Aides, including White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah, publicly said they were "comfortable working here" as more and more White House workers tested positive for the virus. They brought in masks, gloves, and eye protection for anyone planning to work closely with Trump, including in the Oval Office. "But many saw the situation as spiraling out of control" as the pandemic Trump brushed off "seemed to have locked its grip on the White House," the Times writes. And as polls continued to show Democratic nominee Joe Biden triumphing over Trump, aides were reportedly "worried that they were living through the final days of the Trump administration."