For the last three days they have come under intense public scrutiny and pressure as they treat the world's most powerful patient.
But as Donald Trump's doctor, Sean P. Conley, and his team announced the US president's imminent
he struck an optimistic note, declaring with a smile: "he's back."
Trump had indicated he was regaining his strength
yesterday, when he emerged from his hospital suite to greet his cheering fans with a
, giving two thumbs up and waving to those gathered outside.
However, the sequence of events leading to Trump's discharge prompted questions about whether the president is making demands of his doctors for political rather than health reasons.
Earlier on Sunday the severity of Trump's condition in the early days of his diagnosis was finally laid bare.
It emerged that the president's blood oxygen levels had dropped so low that he was hooked up to oxygen for about an hour, with his vital signs appearing "very concerning" to his doctors.
It was also revealed that on Saturday, for the second day in a row, Trump's blood oxygen level dropped again, a potential indicator of a severe case of coronavirus.
Trump was then given dexamethasone, a steroid treatment that the World Health Organisation recommends is used only for patients with "severe and critical Covid-19".
Trump has also been given a remdesivir and a synthetic antibody cocktail, as part of the aggressive course of experimental treatments his doctors have administered.
Given Trump's fluctuating condition, why was the president - who was almost certainly infectious three days into his virus - allowed to carry out a drive-by flanked by secret service agents whom he risked infecting?
The theme that has emerged over the last few days is of a president determined to take charge both of his public image and of his medical care.
Health experts suggest that the cocktail of drugs he has received suggest the president's condition is either more serious than his doctors have indicated, or that a bullish Trump has been demanding the intense treatment regardless of the risks.
It would not be the first time Trump has promoted experimental treatments for Covid-19 - earlier this year he disclosed that he took a course of hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure, despite health experts warning that the anti-malarial drug could cause more harm than good.
Some medics have raised the possibility that the president's doctors have fallen victim to so-called "VIP syndrome", where medics can become overzealous in treating famous patients or capitulate to their requests.
Trump's physician has already indicated that the president is not a submissive patient, revealing over the weekend that "he was fairly adamant that he didn't need" oxygen, but was eventually forced to concede.
"Suddenly they're throwing the kitchen sink at him," Dr Thomas McGinn, physician-in-chief at Northwell Health, told the New York Times.
"It raises the question: Is he sicker than we're hearing, or are they being overly aggressive because he is the president, in a way that could be potentially harmful?"
The news that Trump would be discharged from hospital
today also caused alarm, with some of the president's staff worried that a premature return to the White House could precipitate a second hospital trip.
The picture has become even more complicated due to the confused briefings from Trump's medical team, during which doctors appeared to be trying to hide certain pieces of evidence from the public.
Dr Conley had repeatedly refused to state whether Trump had been given oxygen during a briefing on Saturday.
He later admitted that he had given a rosy impression of the president's health to reflect his and the president's "upbeat attitude".
"I didn't want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction. And in doing so, it came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn't necessarily true," he said on Sunday.
In between these two updates Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, was caught on camera briefing journalists that the president's vitals were in fact "very concerning".
"We're still not on a clear path to a full recovery," he told them.
Trump, watching the coverage of his illness unfold on cable news from his hospital suite, was reportedly furious.
Shortly afterwards he released a four-minute video on his Twitter feed declaring that he was "feeling much better" and would "be back soon".
The White House also released a string of pictures purporting to show Trump busy working from his presidential suite in Walter Reed.
There were even reports that Trump, who is known to dislike hospitals, was pushing to be discharged
yesterday, leading aides to suggest his drive-by outside the hospital in the hope of appeasing him.
During the early hours of this morning, the White House released still more pictures of the president, this time on a conference call with his Secretary of State and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Underscoring the image of a president hard at work was the barrage of tweets Trump fired off from his hospital suite today, tweeting about everything from Space Force to healthcare.
However, Trump's critics heatedly alleged that he had risked the lives of his secret service agents by carrying out a "publicity stunt" drive-by with his supporters.
"That should never have happened," one secret service agent allocated to the president and his family told CNN, adding: "We're not disposable."
Members of the medical community also pointed out that Trump's outing broke his own government's public health guidelines requiring coronavirus patients to isolate while they are in treatment and still shedding virus.
"Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential 'drive-by' just now has to be quarantined for 14 days," said James Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed.
"They might get sick. They may die. For political theatre. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theatre. This is insanity."
As the White House braced for Trump's release today, even as he was in the thick of the virus, stringent new protocols were put in place to contain the outbreak which has spread through the building.
Trump addressed the controversy today, tweeting: "It is reported that the Media is upset because I got into a secure vehicle to say thank you to the many fans and supporters who were standing outside of the hospital for many hours, and even days, to pay their respect to their President. If I didn't do it, Media would say RUDE!!!"
After months of foregoing masks, Trump's national security adviser Robert O'Brien announced that face coverings were now mandatory for all his staff.
It followed criticism from within the White House over a "ridiculous" lack of communication about safety protocol despite the high number of coronavirus cases emerging within the building.
Staff within the West Wing revealed that they were unsure about whether to report to work, given at least 13 members of the president's inner circle have contracted the virus.
They include Trump's campaign manager Bill Stepien, senior adviser Hope Hicks and the president's personal assistant, Nicholas Luna.
The White House has refused to say how many of its staff have now tested positive for Covid-19, with the press secretary Kayleigh McEnany insisting that there were "privacy concerns" around releasing the information.
McEnany revealed today that she herself has now tested positive for the virus.
McEnany, who briefed journalists yesterday without a face mask, said she was not showing any symptoms and would continue to carry out her duties while isolating at home.
But as Americans sat down to watch the evening news last night, it was Trump's return to the White House, and not the growing outbreak at the top of his government, that dominated TV screens.
Briefing reporters today, Dr Conley conceded that the president "may not be out of the woods yet", but he had deemed it safe for him to return to the White House.
Trump's message to the public was more forthright - "feeling really good!" he tweeted.