Why Melania Trump Won't Visit President in Hospital

First Lady Melania Trump won't visit President Donald Trump at Walter Reed medical center because she doesn't want to potentially expose anyone else to COVID-19, according to a report from MSNBC.

The president and the first lady tested positive for the virus late on Thursday night and Trump was taken to hospital at Walter Reed on Friday. Melania Trump hasn't yet visited him.

NBC News' Deepa Shivaram told MSNBC's The Week with Joshua Johnson on Sunday that the network understood the first lady wouldn't visit Trump because of the risk that might pose to Secret Service agents and other White House personnel.

"We just did receive news from NBC's Peter Alexander putting out a note that the first lady herself [...] there's a note saying the reason she hasn't visited her husband at Walter Reed is because she didn't want to put those Secret Service agents and driver in harms' way and expose them to COVID," Shivaram said.

Alexander, NBC News' White House Correspondent, shared the information on Twitter shortly before the Sunday broadcast.

"Reminder: A White House official, on Saturday, told me the First Lady would not be visiting Trump at Walter Reed because 'she has COVID and that would expose the agents who would drive her there,'" Alexander tweeted.

Shivaram, who is reporting on the 2020 election and is embedded with vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris' campaign, noted that the first lady's approach was different to her husband's.

The president briefly left the hospital on Sunday and went for a short drive where he waved at well-wishers gathered outside. There has been strong criticism of the decision.

"It's an interesting contrast of the first lady showing some caution in this process while the president himself, you know, leaving the hospital after being diagnosed with COVID in a car with his Secret Service agents and the driver definitely not social distancing, you know, and putting those folks at risk here, too," Shivaram said.

"He has been positive for the past couple of days now and very well could be contagious and very well could get others sick who he is close with. It's a little bit of a two-fold situation going on."

Dr. James P. Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed, took to Twitter to warn that the president's drive could have endangered the people with him—exactly what Melania Trump is reportedly trying to avoid.

"Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential 'drive-by' just now has to be quarantined for 14 days, " Phillips wrote. "They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity."

Donald and Melania Trump at the Debate
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump on stage after the first presidential debate between Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. This is the first of three planned debates between the two candidates in the lead up to the election on November 3. Both have now tested positive for COVID-19. Win McNamee/Getty Images