A Walter Reed physician called Trump's COVID joyride “insanity.” Right-wing media cheered Trump on.

Earlier this evening, President Donald Trump briefly left Walter Reed Medical Center. He waved to some supporters from the inside of a car:

Walter Reed attending physician Dr. James Phillips explained why this was a terrible idea:

Despite this unnecessary risk that also ignored CDC guidance, right-wing Twitter personalities celebrated the move.

Turning Point USA's Charlie Kirk:

Fox Nation's Rachel Campos-Duffy:

Right-wing radio host Dana Loesch:

Newsmax's Michelle Malkin:

War Room: Pandemic's Raheem Kassam:

Turning Point USA's Benny Johnson:

The Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft:

The Daily Wire's Twitter account:

On a special weekend edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier, plenty of attention was paid to Trump's drive-by stunt, but comparatively little to the risk posed to the Secret Service agents. During the panel, it was brought up by the Associated Press' Julie Pace and echoed by Harold Ford, Jr.

The other panelist, Marc Thiessen, did not engage with the point -- though he did praise Trump's appearance.

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Citation From the October 4, 2020, edition of Fox News' Special Report

JULIE PACE (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS): If you look at some of those images, and you look at some of those Secret Service agents, the president of the United States has coronavirus which is extremely contagious, and he is in a closed-off, sealed-off vehicle right now putting U.S. Secret Service agents at risk. I think that that's not something that we should lose sight of right now. There is certainly his interest in getting out and waving to those supporters, and then there's also the very real situation that he's dealing with and the risk that he poses to other people right now.


MARC THIESSEN (WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): The president's own videos and his interactions with the American people, I think, have been very reassuring. He looks like he's doing well and getting better, and that certainly should give us, give his supporters some confidence.


HAROLD FORD, JR (FORMER TENNESSEE REPRESENTATIVE): I share Julie's concern about those Secret Service agents, and I share the concerns for all of those everyday workers in the White House serving the president and his team, his family, and the rest of that team there.


BRET BAIER (FOX NEWS CHIEF POLITICAL ANCHOR): Julie, do you think that this changes the president? He kind of inferred that in his video tweet that he's learned a lot, and he's going to be talking about that. Do you think it changes the way he looks at it? It's obviously, as Harold mentioned, this bubble, the biggest bubble in the world. The virus got to him. He's still going to fight to not close down the country.

PACE: I do think it's hard to imagine that you could personally have coronavirus and not be changed, not have your perspective changed in some way. But I do think that we will have an opportunity to line up the president's words against his actions, you know? Again, after that tweet he got in that vehicle with Secret Service agents while he is contagious for this virus. What happens when he goes back to the White House? What happens to staffers with masks, with social distancing at events? There will be a very real opportunity in the coming days to be able to really tell if he gets this, and if this does impact his own behavior and the public policy that he is urging Americans to follow.

Shortly before the end of the program, Fox chief political anchor Bret Baier briefly returned to the topic.

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Citation From the October 4, 2020, edition of Fox News' Special Report

BRET BAIER (FOX NEWS CHIEF POLITICAL ANCHOR): You wonder, Julie, how big a story this Secret Service driving -- this drive-by's going to be.

JULIE PACE (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS): I think the president needs to hope that nobody who was in that car with him contracts coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Fox News' website touted Trump's “little surprise visit.”

Trump Fox COVID joyride

Update (10/4/20, 9:00 p.m. EDT): The Washington Post reports that Secret Service agents were infuriated by Trump's car ride:

A growing number of Secret Service agents have been concerned about the president’s seeming indifference to the health risks they face when traveling with him in public.

A few reacted with outrage to his Sunday night drive outside the hospital where he is being treated for the coronavirus, asking how Trump’s desire to be seen outside of his hospital suite justified the jeopardy to agents protecting the president.

NBC's Peter Alexander also noted the rationale for why First Lady Melania Trump, who also tested positive, would not be visiting the president at Walter Reed:

Update (10/5/20, 11:30 a.m. EDT): Right-wing media continued to defend Trump's visit outside of Walter Reed, with Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt focusing on the “people that wanted to hear from him and wanted to see him, just to give the country that message of, 'it's all going to be OK'".

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Citation From the October 5, 2020, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends

AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): A lot of people were saying they were glad he made an appearance. I know you have the others that said that they felt like he was putting the Secret Service at risk, but there were a lot of people that wanted to hear from him and wanted to see him, just to give the country that message of, “it's all going to be OK", because people have been praying for him and worried about him.

Later on Fox & Friends, former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino complained that Secret Service agents are “not a bunch of whiners ...we signed on to take the worry for" for the president. To the “media buffoons" expressing concern for Secret Service agents, Bongino said that they'd better not “dare utter the words 'Secret Service' again because you know nothing about these men or women."

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Citation From the October 5, 2020, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends

DAN BONGINO (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): This story is infuriating, infuriating. No one gave a damn -- listen to me. I'd like to say something else but it's cable news and it's the morning show. No one gave a damn about the Secret Service when the Secret Service was at risk knowingly, where other protectees knowingly put them at risk in other situations. I didn't hear any stories -- Steve, do you remember the story about the friend of mine who caught Chikungunya fever in Africa, remember that one? No, of course you don't. Because you never heard about it. Why didn't you hear about that one? What about when a guy who's on -- guy by the name of Dan Bongino here, how about when I caught Dengue fever in South Africa with another protectee? Do you remember that story? Yeah, you don't remember that either, do you? What about the hundreds of other agents who get sick every year traveling around the world for photo ops, for protectees from both parties? You know why you don't hear about that story? Because that's not what we do, we're not a bunch of whiners. We go out and we protect the president of the United States. And the president of the United States gets to act like the president of the United States without having to worry about us, because we signed on to take the worry for him.

Listen to me, someone was getting in that car or that helicopter and closing that door and protecting the president of the United States, infected or not. Someone was going to do it. And these guys and the women of the Secret Service are the ones that had the nerve to do it. So to these media buffoons, you clowns, who don't know the first thing about honor, dignity, or courage. I know you wouldn't get in that car with the president with a mask or a full bubble suit because you're chumps, and cowards, and spineless losers. We all know that. But don't you dare utter the words "Secret Service" again because you know nothing about these men or women, why they do what they do, how they wound up in that car, why they did it, and they'd do it again tomorrow. So how about you just shut your mouths, put your caboose in a chair, and sit this one out. 

In the introduction to his Fox Business show, Stuart Varney said of the media, “they really hated ... the presidential drive-by", and sarcastically noted that “CNN said he'd exposed his Secret Service driver."

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Citation From the October 5, 2020, edition of Fox Business' Varney & Co.

STUART VARNEY (HOST): Yes, it's another Monday morning rally despite it all. That is, despite election polls moving against the president. Despite the media aggressively questioning his treatment, his doctor's statements, and his hospitalization. All of that, despite it all. And by the way, they really hated this: the presidential drive-by, thanking his supporters --  CNN said he'd exposed his Secret Service driver.

However, on America's Newsroom, frequent Fox guest Dr. Marty Makary, a professor of surgery and health policy expert, was asked specifically about Dr. Phillips' tweets against Trump's drive, and Makary said that he “certainly would've advised against" the trip. 

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Citation From the October 5, 2020, edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom

TRACE GALLAGHER (CO-ANCHOR): What he's saying is, because the president's SUV is hermetically sealed to make sure that chemicals don't get inside, it means maybe coronavirus can't get out and those Secret Service agents were at great risk. Your thoughts. 

DR. MARTY MAKARY (JOHNS HOPKINS PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH): I would have certainly advised against it, Trace. I can tell you again, this is a very common negotiation with patients. They want to go for a walk outside, they want to do something we may not feel comfortable about. I will tell you that a lot of presidents play golf at the golf club I play at. And when they lose their ball in the pond or in the forest, and they say “do you think we can find that," everybody around them tells them what they perceive they want to hear, and they say “yes we can do that." Probably what happened -- and I don't know -- is he said, you know “I'd kind of like to say hi to those folks" and people said “oh, we can make that happen."