Campaign puts Trump on Aiyuk hurdle after hospital discharge


President Donald Trump's re-election campaign tweeted a video of Trump as 49ers rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk leaping over a defender, seemingly to celebrate the president's discharge Monday from Walter Reed Medical Center, where he had received treatment for COVID-19 since Friday.

Trump's campaign team superimposed the president's face onto Aiyuk in a video of the rookie hurdling Philadelphia Eagles safety Marcus Epps during a 38-yard touchdown run in the 49ers' loss Sunday night. They placed an illustration from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing the coronavirus' ultrastructural morphology onto Epps, seemingly implying that the president had overcome COVID-19 mere hours after the president's physician told reporters that the president will continue to take an experimental antiviral drug for treatment.

The video also showed Aiyuk, with Trump's head atop his, dancing in the end zone before cutting to ITV News footage of an anti-Trump protestor screaming "No" during the president's 2017 inauguration.

Twitter disabled playback of the video Monday night following "a report from the copyright owner." It's not clear whether Twitter was describing the NFL, ITV News or another party.

Trump returned to the White House on Monday following his weekend stay at Walter Reed, immediately taking off his mask for a photo opportunity on the balcony. He didn't wear a mask when greeted by White House staffers who did before recording a video he tweeted out Monday night.

The CDC's guidance says that masks help prevent sick people from spreading the virus to others. They also say those who are "severely ill" with the virus could need to quarantine for nearly three weeks.

Scott Conley, the president's physician, wouldn't confirm to reporters Monday when the president last tested negative for COVID-19. Conley said Trump will continue to take remdesivir, and the doctor said he couldn't discuss the results of the president's chest X-ray while citing health privacy laws.

The president was flown and admitted to Walter Reed on Friday, a day after tweeting that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19. Conley told reporters on Sunday the president was undergoing a steroid therapy typically used for severe cases of the virus. That same day, Trump briefly left the hospital to wave to supporters from a car, and it was unclear what, if any, precautions were taken to limit the virus' further spread. The president abruptly tweeted Monday that he would return to the White House at 6:30 p.m. ET, and Conley told reporters that he and his team had advised reporters that it was safe for the president to do so.

"Though he may not be entirely out of the woods yet, the team and I agree that all our evaluations, and most importantly, his clinical status, support the president's safe return home," Conley said.

Eleven people with ties to the president have tested positive for the virus, according to NBC News. At least nine people who attended federal appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination in the Rose Garden on Sept. 26, including the Trumps, have tested positive.

In announcing Monday that he would return to the White House, the president tweeted "Don't be afraid of Covid. Don't let it dominate your life." He echoed a similar message in the video of his return to the White House. Over 211,000 people in the United States have died of the coronavirus, and nearly 7.5 million people have had confirmed cases, according to state officials and NBC News.

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Aiyuk's touchdown went viral on social media a night before the president's campaign team used it to promote Trump's return to the White House. Prior to the game, Aiyuk sat on the 49ers' bench during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

In 2017, the president said NFL owners should "get that son of a b---h off the field" if they didn't stand during the national anthem. Just this August, Trump said he hoped that the NFL season wouldn't start during the still-ongoing pandemic if players weren't standing for the anthem.

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