Donald Trump 'breathing heavily' as Biden leads backlash against 'macho' Covid-19 stance

6 October 2020, 09:44 | Updated: 6 October 2020, 10:04

By Asher McShane

Joe Biden has led criticism of Donald Trump accusing him of an irresponsible "macho" stance as he fights back to health from coronavirus.

Mr Biden said: "What is this macho thing, 'I'm not going to wear a mask?

"What's the deal here? Big deal, does it hurt you? Be patriotic for god's sake! Take care of yourself, but take care of your neighbours."

Read more: Donald Trump discharged from hospital as he recovers from Covid-19

He said that "anybody who contracts the virus by essentially saying, 'masks don't matter, social distancing doesn't matter,' I think is responsible for what happens to them."

Donald Trump was filmed apparently breathing heavily on the White House balcony
Donald Trump was filmed apparently breathing heavily on the White House balcony. Picture: PA

Donald Trump emerged from hospital yesterday and re-entered the White House, despite medics saying he is still infectious.

People, including doctors, highlighted videos that showed the president appearing to breathe heavily and grimacing as he made his return.

Mr Trump was facing mounting criticism as he returned to his official residence, after he released a "tone deaf" video saying that he believed he was immune to the virus and that people need not fear contracting Covid-19.

The President, who was admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday, left the facility at 6.30pm local time yesterday. Doctors said he met the standard to be discharged from hospital but is still contagious.

A masked Mr Trump pumped his fist as he walked out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre on Monday evening towards a waiting SUV that carried him to the Marine One helicopter for the short flight back to the White House.

Announcing his departure earlier on Monday evening, he told followers "don't be afraid of Covid" and claimed to feel "better than I did 20 years ago."

In a tweet, the President wrote: "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 & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!"

Sean Conley, the president's physician, said he "may not entirely be out of the woods yet" but he and the team "agree that all our evaluations and, most importantly, his clinical status support the president's safe return home, where he'll be surrounded by world class medical care".

t is unclear how long Mr Trump will remain in isolation at the White House. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, those with mild to moderate symptoms should isolate for at least 10 days.

First Lady Melania Trump also tested positive for the virus, but said she was "feeling good" after suffering mild symptoms.

In a statement, she said: "My family is grateful for all of the prayers and support!

"I am feeling good and will continue to rest at home. Thank you to medical staff and caretakers everywhere, and my continued prayers for those who are ill or have a family member impacted by the virus."

Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany become the latest White House aide to test positive for the virus on Monday.

Joe Biden's campaign said the Democratic presidential nominee again tested negative for coronavirus on Sunday. The results came five days after he spent more than 90 minutes on the debate stage with Mr Trump.

Mr Biden, who has taken a far more cautious approach to in-person events - and has been mocked repeatedly for it by Mr Trump - had two negative tests on Friday.