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Trump is mocked online for signing blank page in ‘staged’ photo-op to show at Walter Reed hospital

Donald Trump was photographed at Walter Reed Medical Center appearing to sign a blank piece of paper with a marker in an attempt to show he was still working while fighting coronavirus – prompting ‘#Staged’ to trend on Twitter.

The White House released the contentious pictures of Trump appearing to work hard while receiving treatment inside the hospital on Saturday, where he remained for a second night after he and First Lady Melania tested positive for coronavirus.

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Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, shared one of the images to her own Twitter page, writing: ‘Nothing can stop him from working for the American people. RELENTLESS!’

But the president’s attempts to appear undeterred by the virus were quickly picked apart by eagled viewers online, who took to social media to accuse Trump of staging the images and blasting his ‘reality TV presidency’. 

The White House released the contentious pictures of Trump appearing to work hard while receiving treatment inside the hospital on Saturday

But the president¿s attempts to appear undeterred by the virus were quickly picked apart by eagled viewers online, who took to social media to accuse Trump of staging the images and blasting his 'reality TV presidency'.

But the president’s attempts to appear undeterred by the virus were quickly picked apart by eagled viewers online, who took to social media to accuse Trump of staging the images and blasting his ‘reality TV presidency’.

One of the photographs showed the president sat at the end of a long conference table, with a walnut backdrop, dressed in an open collar white shirt, sifting through some files and grasping a pen.

The second image showed Trump sat at a round table with a white backdrop, wearing a suit jacket and appearing to write on a piece of paper in front of him.

Though the content of the images appear to attempt to show a passage of time, editor-in-chief of The Air Current, Jon Ostrower, took a closer look at data embedded in the photos and found they had been taken just 10 minutes apart – despite showing Trump working in two different places.

‘The photos released by the WH tonight of the president working at Walter Reed were taken 10 minutes apart at 5:25:39 pm and 5:35:40 pm ET Saturday, according to the EXIF data embedded in both AP wire postings that were shared by the White House this evening,’ he tweeted.

White House reporter Andrew Feinberg also examined the photos at closer inspection, and, upon zooming in on one of them, he found that Trump ‘appears to be signing his name to a blank sheet of paper’.

Mocking responses soon started flooding in, with the words ‘staged’ trending throughout Sunday morning.

‘He was a reality TV star. As far as he’s concerned, he just had to shoot a couple of promos for the ‘look presidential’ bit he performs,’ one tweeter wrote.

One person said of him purportedly signing a blank sheet: ‘That’s the only kind of “work” he knows how to do. And in his mind, as long as he makes it look like he’s working and his base believes it, that’s every bit as good, if not better, than actually doing something.’

White House reporter Andrew Feinberg examined the photos at closer inspection, and, upon zooming in on one of them, he found that Trump ¿appears to be signing his name to a blank sheet of paper¿

White House reporter Andrew Feinberg examined the photos at closer inspection, and, upon zooming in on one of them, he found that Trump ‘appears to be signing his name to a blank sheet of paper’

Editor-in-chief of The Air Current, Jon Ostrower, took a closer look at data embedded in the photos and found they had been taken just 10 minutes apart ¿ despite showing Trump working in two different places.

Editor-in-chief of The Air Current, Jon Ostrower, took a closer look at data embedded in the photos and found they had been taken just 10 minutes apart – despite showing Trump working in two different places.

Other viewers of the images voiced concern that, despite currently battling COVID-19, Trump wasn’t wearing a face mask or any other kind of personal protective equipment, while being photographed in different locations in the hospital.

‘Not a huge surprise that these photos are staged – and I’m amused by those pointing out that if you zoom in he’s just signing a blank sheet of paper – but it’s genuinely appalling that he still won’t wear a mask,’ historian Alex von Tunzelmann tweeted. ‘I hope his vanity hasn’t caused the photographer to be infected.’

Others levelled criticism toward Ivanka amid her celebrations of her father’s ‘relentless’ work ethic.

‘Oh honey. Everyone can tell this is a very sick man propped in a chair for the purpose of staged White House propaganda. Go hug your kids and get off twitter,’ author Lynn Comella replied.

‘You really want your sick dad putting on and taking off coats to take staged photo ops in different rooms when he should be, maybe, resting?’ Randi Meyem Singer added. ‘Some daughter you are.’

In a statement, a White House official told Newsweek that Trump had ‘signed about 10 documents yesterday. We published 2 proclamations last night.’

The official did not reportedly elaborate on whether the papers Trump posed with were blank or comment on the timing of the photos.

The fallout came amid a barrage of questions that were raised regarding the authenticity of a video released by Trump from the hospital on Twitter on Saturday night, in which he attempted to assure Americans he would ‘be back soon’.

Several film editors highlighted a glitch in the footage where the president appears to hiccup, but say the jump may actually have been an exit cut in the footage to edit out a cough.

Contradictory messages were also sent out about Trump’s health and condition throughout the weekend, causing concern over the reliability of the information being shared by the White House.

During a televised address Saturday, Trump’s doctors offered a gleaming assessment of his conditions, saying he was ‘doing very well’ and was in ‘exceptionally good spirits’.

However, within hours, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows painted a more somber picture, warning that the next two days will be “critical.”

‘The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning, and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care,’ Meadows told reporters. ‘We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.’

Meadows later tried to retract his comments, telling Reuters: ‘The president is doing very well. He is up and about and asking for documents to review.’

The president’s doctors said Sunday that he could be discharged from Walter Reed as early as Monday as Trump’s top physician detailed he was given a steroid and put on oxygen as a treatment.

Donald Trump appeared to stifle a cough in his video but some believe the video was edited

Donald Trump appeared to stifle a cough in his video but some believe the video was edited

Podcast host Chris Evans suggested Trump's team had used Adobe Premiere software

Podcast host Chris Evans suggested Trump’s team had used Adobe Premiere software

The president’s top doctor also explained during his briefing Sunday afternoon that there was some confusion over Trump’s condition because Chief of Staff Mark Meadow’s comments were misrepresented.

‘The Chief and I work side-by-side,’ Conley said of Meadows. ‘And I think his statement was misconstrued.’

‘What he meant was that 24 hours ago, when he and I were checking on the president, that there was that momentary episode of a high fever. And that temporary drop in the saturation, which prompted us to act expediently to move him up here,’ he said of the president’s swift movement from the White House to Walter Reed on Friday.

‘Fortunately that was a very transient, limited episode,’ he continued in a briefing with some press outside the hospital center. ‘A couple hours later he was back up, mild again. I’m not going to speculate what that limited episode was about so early in the course. But he’s doing well.

Conley, a Navy Commander and physician to the president, revealed during the briefing that Trump was treated with the steroid dexamethasone after a drop in oxygen levels on Saturday.

‘Over the course of his illness, the president has experienced two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen saturation. We debated the reasons for this and whether we’d even intervene. As a determination of the team, based predominantly on the timeline for the diagnosis, that we initiate dexamethasone,’ Conley said.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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