‘White House having PTSD’ over Trump’s COVID-19 infection: NYT reporter
President Donald Trump in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

A New York Times reporter described the White House as shell-shocked over President Donald Trump's coronavirus infection that's spreading among senior administration officials and staffers.


Times reporter Peter Baker appeared Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," where he said aides and staffers remained fearful and furious over the COVID-19 outbreak that has upended the presidential campaign and sent many of them home to await test results.

"It's a White House having PTSD right now," Baker said. "It's just an extraordinary situation for this place. It is the leading coronavirus hot spot in the nation's capital."

"You're right, it's an emptied-out building," he added. "A lot of people staying at home, a lot of people who aren't stay-at-home are there and upset. There's a lot of bitter finger-pointing at Mark Meadows, the chief of staff, at the doctors."

The president left Walter Reed Medical Center after three days of treatment and has insisted on returning to the Oval Office, despite testing positive last week.

"There are those who are upset about the president," Baker said. "They don't think he should be back, or if he's back he should be staying in the residence, and yet he insists on going to the Oval Office yesterday."

The White House hasn't been publicly forthcoming about the president's health, and staffers remain unhappy with the communication they've received.

"There are a lot of questions we hadn't answered," Baker said. "We didn't see him on Tuesday. He made a point of showing himself in some fashion or another every day since he got sick, either on a video or in that ride in the motorcade around Walter Reed, and then suddenly he disappeared. Obviously he has been pretty active on Twitter, spitting out a lot of conspiracy theory-type of tweets, seemingly angry and trying to get himself back on to the stage."