FURIOUS Piers Morgan has slammed "reckless" Donald Trump for endangering the lives of his Secret Service team after going on a surprise drive-by after testing positive for coronavirus.
The Good Morning Britain host called the stunt, which saw the President wave to supporters outside the Walter Reed hospital, "utterly ridiculous".
And he expressed his sympathy for the driver of the hermetically sealed SUV in which Trump was a passenger.
He raged: "It’s now October, 5 Mr President. You’re the most powerful man in the world, you have access to the most brilliant people in the world, and you’ve only just discovered coronavirus school where you work out what it’s all about after 200,000 plus people have died in your country.
"What’s your reaction now you've had it yourself and learnt just how serious it is? You go out and you put your Secret Service lives at risk. People who risk their lives for you every minute of every day. You decide to get into a car with a bloke who's got a mask on who actually has to do that because the President told him.
He added: "He thinks it's a reality show. The recklessness of this. It’s utterly ridiculous."
The hosts asked their colleague Kate Garraway, whose husband Derek has been seriously ill in hospital for the past six months after contracting the virus, for her thoughts.
She said she was "bewildered", and the President was lucky he could benefit from the medical learnings from patients like Derek.
Meanwhile Piers's feelings echo those of Dr James Phillips from the Walter Reed hospital who called the hospital motorcade "insanity" and warned that everyone involved "must quarantine."
"Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential 'drive-by' just now has to be quarantined for 14 days," Phillips tweeted.
"They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater.
"This is insanity," the doctor added.
Phillips said that due to the nature of the president's SUV, the risk of him transmitting the virus was "high."
"That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack," Phillips tweeted.
"The risk of COVID19 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."
However, White House aide Jude Deere told CBS on Sunday evening, "The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do,” adding: “Appropriate precautions were taken” to protect everyone.
The Trump campaign also pushed back on the criticism, with senior adviser Jason Miller dismissing claims the drive-by was a "photo-op."
"I don't think this was a stunt at all," Miller told CNN.
"This was President Trump showing people he's very gracious for the hospitality they have shown him, the support that he has, for the hundreds of people outside of Walter Reed medical center there."
The "surprise" drive-by came after:
- President Trump revealed his coronavirus diagnosis
- At least 10 people in Trump's inner circle tested positive for coronavirus
- Chief of Staff Mark Meadows revealed Trump's oxygen levels dropped sharply on Friday
- Trump shared a video address from Walter Reed, warning the 'next few days will be the real test'
- It was revealed that Trump knew he tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday – but did not disclose his results until Friday
Trump announced in a video message that he would be giving a "little surprise" to supporters gathered outside the White House on Sunday.
"We’re getting great reports from the doctors. This is an incredible hospital, Walter Reed. The work they do is just absolutely amazing and I want to thank them all," Trump said.
Trump was then seen riding around in the back of his SUV, waving to supporters outside the Bethesda, Maryland medical center.
White House doctors on Sunday said Trump may be able to head back to the White House as soon as Monday.
Dr Sean Conley also said Trump had "two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen saturation levels" on Friday.
He suffered a high fever, the doctor added, and was on supplemental oxygen.
In an address to the nation on Saturday, however, Trump said he was "feeling better."
At least 10 others in Trump's inner circle have also tested positive.
Among those with COVID-19 are: First Lady Melania Trump, personal assistant Nicholas Luna, former aide Kellyanne Conway, and campaign manager Bill Stepien.
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