Image Courtesy of Chip Somodevilla
By Chris Carey
In the still of the night, amidst growing concerns about his contact with Hope Hicks following her positive COVID-19 result, President Donald Trump announced his own bout with the virus had begun in one of the only ways he knows how. At 12:54 a.m. on October 2, Trump tweeted, “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
That same afternoon of Friday October 2, Marine One transported Trump to Walter Reed Medical Center in a condition that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows called “critical,” while others like the White House physician Dr. Sean Conley downplayed the President’s condition.
In quick succession, the following days saw Trump loyalist after Trump loyalist stricken by the so called “Kung Flu” which has taken the lives of more than 200,000 Americans.
Melania. Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien. RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. Chris Christie. Kellyanne Conway. Senators Mike Lee, Thom Tillis, and Ron Johnson. Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Notre Dame’s President, the Reverend John Jenkins – a visitor of the White House Rose Garden during Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination ceremony to the Supreme Court.
It’s that gathering pictured above where scores of the nation’s elites sat shoulder to shoulder with minimal adherence to CDC mask guidelines that now receives the scorn of many across the nation due to the quickly ballooning positive cases from individuals in attendance.
Dubbed a “super-spreader event” by many in the media and medical field, it is the most blatant of possibly three events due to the apparent negligence on behalf of the Trump camp to take necessary precautions, the others being the first presidential debate in Cleveland and a Bedminster Fundraiser later the same week.
At the debate, many of Trump’s guests did not wear masks, even when prompted by the health officials overseeing safety precautions. Furthermore, the fundraising event was held after Hope Hicks, advisor to the President, began exhibiting symptoms on Wednesday September 30, although the White House claims that she did not receive her first positive test until after the event.
With more uncertainty surrounding who should quarantine, receive testing, and contact tracing, the President himself appears to be in a more stable condition, as he returned to the White House Monday.
With that return came his all-too-familiar downplaying rhetoric of the virus, comparing it to the common flu once again.
With the vice presidential debate on Wednesday October 7, and another presidential debate slated for next week, pundits and voters alike wonder if the situation plaguing the ranks of the Trump Administration will garner a change in tone from the often dismissive President and his team, or simply strengthen their message.
Regardless of the Commander in Chief’s decision on the matter – listen to the medical professionals. Wear your mask, stay 6 feet from each other, and avoid crowds. All this is in your power. All this, you can control.