CNN's Acosta worried about 'Patient Zero' Trump bringing virus 'back to the White House'
CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (screengrab)

Moments before President Donald J. Trump left Walter Reed Medical Center to return home to the White House via Marine One, CNN's Jim Acosta referred to the president as "patient zero."

"They'll try to ask him [Trump] some questions as he comes into the White House," Acosta said. "But keep in mind this is not just the president returning to the White House. This may be patient zero. This is the virus coming back to the White House."

Acosta dug into the depths of what it was really like at the White House with so many staffers having fallen ill with COVID-19 and out of commission.

"And I will tell you, Wolf [Blitzer], having been here all day, it is eerily quiet and empty inside the corridors of the West Wing with Kayleigh McEnany testing positive and two press assistants testing positive for the virus. They evacuated much of the West Wing earlier today - it's awful. Just about all of those staffers have gone home. Forget about the 'emperor has no clothes.' The emperor has no staff tonight and they're going to have to ramp that back up, Wolf, to get this White House up to speed for the return of the president. I mean, it is sort of extraordinary to think about and I will tell you, there are members of the press corps who are concerned about this."

Acosta added, "I was just talking with a print photographer not too long ago who was asking me, 'Jim, would you mind not asking the president any questions when he returns to the White House? Because I don't want the president to come over and breathe on me when he answers his questions.' That is not an exaggeration. These are the kinds of conversations going on at the White House right now because people are petrified; they are frightened that this virus is just working its way through the grounds of the White House and infecting people left and right. And the president may think he's flexing his muscles right now and he's about to go out on the campaign trail and go back to the way things were, but just about everybody else, not just in the press but among his staff, people are just petrified that this is getting out of control."

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