US President Donald Trump on Monday evening returned to the White House from hospital, three days after he was diagnosed with the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Wearing a black mask and surrounded by Secret Service operatives, Trump walked out of the Walter Reed Military Medical Centre in Bethesda, Maryland at 6:38pm (11:38pm Nigerian time).
Against expectations, the president did not answer questions from newsmen, who could be heard shouting questions at him.
He was driven in a motorcade to a helipad nearby from where the presidential helicopter, Marine One, flew him on a short trip back to the White House.
On arrival at the White House, he removed his mask, paused for a brief photo op, during which he waved to the cameras before entering his official residence.
Shortly before leaving hospital, Trump tweeted that he was feeling much better and would be back on the campaign trail soon.
Four hours earlier, Trump had made a Twitter post in which he, again, downplayed the impact of the virus, and said he was feeling better than he did 20 years ago.
He said: “I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good!
“Don’t be afraid of COVID. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs and knowledge.
“I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”
Briefing newsmen earlier in the day, the president’s physician, Sean Conley, expressed support for his move to the White House.
However, Conley was quick to point out that Trump was “not necessarily out of the woods yet”, adding that he was on “uncharted territory” in terms of his treatment.
Trump’s discharge from hospital comes as more COVID-19 infections are reported among White House staff.
No fewer than 12 people close to the president, including White House Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, have tested positive for the virus.