COVID19 🦠 Newsbites
Doctor who criticized Trump's actions during COVID-19 hospital stay removed from Walter Reed schedule: report
Dr. James Phillips, the emergency room physician who called out President Donald Trump for his decision to greet supporters while he was being treated for the coronavirus in October, has been removed from the schedule at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center beginning in January, according to CBS News.

On October 4, Trump rode in a motorcade with attending Secret Service agents while still being infected with COVID-19. Phillips, the chief of disaster and operational medicine at George Washington University and an attending physician at Walter Reed, harshly criticized the president's actions at the time.

In a tweet that has since been deleted, Phillips wrote: "Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential 'drive-by' just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity."

He added in another tweet that has also been deleted: "That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack. The risk of COVID-19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play."

... Officials at Walter Reed told CBS News that the hospital "provides requirements for contract positions," and stated that "schedules are determined by the contractor."

They added: "There was no decision made by anyone at WRNMMC to remove Dr. Phillips from the schedule."

... "Colleagues of Dr. Phillips were surprised that a disaster medicine specialist would be eliminated from the schedule at a busy military hospital at a time when Maryland is nearing a record high for COVID-19 hospitalizations," according to CBS News.

Rudy Giuliani says 'you can overdo the mask' while in hospital for COVID-19 after ignoring mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines
  • President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani downplayed the severity of COVID-19 while receiving treatment for the virus at Georgetown University Medical Center.
  • He called into his radio show on Tuesday and falsely claimed that "you can overdo the mask" and that the disease is "curable."
  • Trump announced via tweet on Sunday that Giuliani had tested positive for coronavirus.
  • Giuliani has refused to wear a mask and neglected to follow public health rules while working on behalf of Trump to overturn the election results.
  • "Things happen in life and you have to go with them. You can't overreact to them, otherwise you let the fear of illness drive your entire life," he said.
The statements defy guidance from public health experts who say mask-wearing can help prevent virus transmission. There is also no known cure to COVID-19 yet but potential treatments and vaccines are being developed and administered.

... The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has widely reported that people who show no symptoms could still be infected and spread the virus.

At recent events, Giuliani regularly appeared maskless and neglected to follow social distancing rules. Jenna Ellis, another lawyer traveling with Giuliani and carrying out Trump's election fight, has also tested positive, Axios reported on Tuesday.

Giuliani expressed little regret over dismissing public health guidelines, compared to that of another Trump ally, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was hospitalized with COVID-19 in October and said he was "wrong" for not wearing a mask. ... Giuliani said also that he admitted himself to the hospital based on Trump's advice, and mentioned that he's getting the same treatment that the president received when he fell ill with the virus in October. "His doctor sent me here," Giuliani said. "He talked me into it. I didn't really want to go to the hospital, and he said, 'Don't be stupid, you can get it over with in three days if we send you to the hospital.'" Trump received an expensive drug regimen, which included an experimental antibody cocktail to fight off the infection that is not widely available to the public. "The minute I took the cocktail," Giuliani said. "I felt 100% better. It works very quickly." He also noted that he "did not know" of the drug's high price-tag and its lack of accessibility. "Sometimes, when you're a celebrity, they're worried if something happens to you," he said. "They're going to examine it more carefully and do everything right." Giuliani, who is 76 years old, added that he has no fever, a "very little cough," and expects to be released from the hospital on Wednesday morning.