Expanding Covid cluster inside the White House as Trump's press secretary latest to test positive

The White House inner circle, so long complacent about the Covid threat, is paying an increasingly heavy price.

Kayleigh McEnany on Monday revealed she too has tested positive for coronavirus.

A considerable swathe of the government is now paralysed. The election campaign has been thrown into chaos.

The president is in hospital and on some serious, experimental medication.

His press secretary must now go into quarantine

His former top adviser, Kellyanne Conway, has been diagnosed too.  So too Chris Christie, who works with Trump on debate preparation, and Bill Stepien, the Trump campaign manager.

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And yet, on Sunday evening Donald Trump clambered aboard a presidential vehicle and was driven to see his supporters who were gathered outside the hospital entrance.

It was either a great stunt that revealed a president determined to keep campaigning or an outrageous act of recklessness that endangered his driver, the Secret Service agents, and all others he came into contact with.

President Trump has done it again - thrilling his supporters and appalling his critics.

From the hospital suite where he is staying, he released a statement that was no less jarring.

He described his experience of Covid, which has killed over 200,000 Americans, as an "interesting journey" and said that he now fully understands the disease.

His critics are saying he should have listened to his scientific advisers and understood Covid six months earlier when it could still have been contained.

At any rate, a presidency that has been filled with astonishing moments - shaking hands with Kim Jong-un, standing amid carnage holding up a bible, talking about injecting bleach - has a new visual image to top them all.

Even seasoned observers of the Trump White House were stunned.

A president who is shedding a potentially deadly virus left hospital to glimpse his supporters through a bullet-proof window.

President Donald Trump drives past supporters gathered outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre Credit: Anthony Peltier/AP

Perhaps this will have only a limited impact on the election campaign. Most voters are already living in their silos; people have made up their minds; there are few undecided voters left.

But the politics of the election has been thrown into chaos.

Only one candidate is able to travel and campaign, and even Joe Biden is having to do so with extreme caution. He is being tested daily for Covid.

The latest from outside the White House:

Meanwhile, there remains an enduring mystery about the President's condition.

We now know that even before he arrived at the hospital, Trump was given oxygen and a highly experimental drug, Regeneron. That suggests he is seriously unwell.

Furthermore, his specialists have refused to comment on whether he has pneumonia.

Dr Sean Conley, doctor to President Donald Trump, briefs reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre Credit: Susan Walsh/AP

And yet the doctors yesterday spoke of him being able to return to the White House as early as Monday.

It's an inconsistency that many outside medical experts believe is unacceptable.  

The American people deserve the simple, unadorned facts about their President's health.

Assuming he makes a recovery, the timing of his discharge from hospital may also depend on who is calling the shots: The president's doctors or the patient?