Trump in hospital: 'We're here to tell him that we love him'

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Image source, Getty Images

Supporters of the president spent hours outside the hospital where he is being treated, and they were rewarded when he drove past on Sunday evening. Before that, they told the BBC's Lebo Diseko why it was important to be there.

"We love Trump!"

"Four more years!"

"Donald Trump FOREVER!" shout his supporters gathered outside Walter Reed military hospital where the US president is being treated.

As passing cars and trucks hoot support, there are cheers and whoops from the the crowd of MAGA-hat wearers and Trump-Pence 2020 flag-wavers.

The crowd and the hooting seem to grow every hour - as the world's media stand across the road.

A convoy of cars and trucks honking their horns and waving US flags streams past us.

"This feels like a soccer parade after a win!" my colleague remarked.

It's just a couple of hours since Donald Trump's medical team gave an update on his health, and said that they hope he will be back at the White House on Monday. The crowd and their convoys have grown steadily since.

"We're cheering for his good health," says an African-American supporter called Barbara. "We want him back as soon as possible, so we're here to tell him that we love him, we're praying for him and we need him in America."

"In America and the WORLD!" her friend Wanji chips in.

Image caption,
Barbara and Wanji show their love for Trump

She says the president's critics are persecuting him because he stands up for Christians. "He has been taking all the stress of America and the world."

His sickness just shows the country is sick, she adds, and like him it is recovering.

No-one has done as much for African Americans as Donald Trump, they say. That's echoed by a Latino gentleman standing next to them.

Waving two flags - a blue one, which is his and a pink one belonging to his wife, Maurio says: "I'm very much for such a good president - he's done a lot of stuff for the Spanish people."

A little further down the line are a couple who say they flew in from Arizona - a journey of about 2,400 miles, which took them more than four hours. "We support our president 100%" says Danny Carroll, who adds they would have travelled even further if they needed to.

"That's our president - we're all in it together, red, yellow , black and white - we're all precious in his sight."

His wife Jeanie says she doesn't always like the way the president expresses himself but she appreciates his results. She says the couple drive across the country a lot and six years ago, the country was dying economically but now he's brought it back. They plan to stay until he's back at the White House - then make the long journey home.

Image caption,
Mauro and Jeanie travelled all the way from Arizona

Of course, the president is no ordinary patient, and when he does go home he will be monitored by his medical team 24/7. But there are still questions left unanswered after Sunday's briefing from his medical team.

They admitted he his oxygen levels had dipped twice in the last few days - Friday and Saturday - but pressed for details on the second round of oxygen Dr Sean Conley said he would have to check with the nurses.

And when it came to possible damage to the president's lungs. Dr Conley said there were some "expected findings" but didn't expand on that.

This comes a day after mixed messages from the medical team and his chief of staff on Saturday.

He admitted the was trying to present an "upbeat attitude".

Media caption,
President Trump pays "surprise visit" to supporters outside hospital

"I didn't want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction and in doing so, you know, it came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn't necessarily true."

The fact that last sentence was considered necessary shows an awareness that for at least some Americans, there is a trust gap when it comes to the president's medical team.

But that's certainly not the view of the crowd gathered here.

Families with children joined senior citizens in the festival of well wishers.

The president knows they're there and rewarded them with an unexpected appearance. His supporters know he appreciates them and they appreciate him.