Trump Continues to Downplay COVID-19 after Testing Positive


Abigail Felan

Even after contracting the deadly COVID-19 virus, Trump seems to still not understand that him downplaying it will only make the pandemic worse in the United States.

Mia Cabrera, Staff Writer

After news spread on Oct. 2 that President Trump had been infected with COVID-19, many were in shock that one of the few people adamant about the virus not being serious contracted it. With him experiencing the virus first hand, there were high hopes that he would begin to acknowledge the seriousness of it and encourage Americans to do everything possible to themselves and others safe. This was not the case and many are outraged that the president still continues to downplay COVID-19. Trump has never seen COVID-19 as an imminent threat to America over these past few months and fails to consider the millions of people who have been drastically affected by it, overall being one of the main reasons why the virus continues to remain such a pressing issue.

Over seven million Americans have been infected with the Coronavirus and more than 210 thousand have died, leaving many people with grief, anger and fear that the leader of the United States continues to push the severity of the pandemic aside. Throughout the pandemic, Trump has made innumerable false claims such as the virus would weaken due to warm weather, that “99,000 of COVID-19 cases are totally harmless,” that children are virtually immune to it and that the virus was just like a flu. With an obvious misunderstanding of how the virus works, Trump has done nothing to protect himself or others from it. Aside from Trump making fun of others for wearing masks correctly, the White House has become a breeding ground for the virus. The decision to wear masks in the house has been optional, testing has only been random–not daily–and there are no temperature screenings required before entering. In addition, many events that the White House held were super-spreaders of the virus, with a complete disregard of the recommended guidelines. One in particular that seems to have infected the majority of goers was the White House gathering to nominate a supreme court justice which required no masks and no social distancing, making for the perfect environment to exponentially spread the virus. Even at the presidential debates where Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines were enforced, President Trump’s entire family went maskless, selfishly risking spreading the virus to others near them. The fact of the matter is a family constantly in the public eye advocating for no regulations amid a pandemic is allowing their supporters to do the same thing.

Additionally, President Trump’s claims that the virus was “not bad” are extremely tone-deaf when coming from the person with the best medical care in the country. After President Trump tweeted that he tested positive for the Coronavirus in the early morning of Oct. 2, he was quickly transported to the Walter Reed medical center, where he was greeted by only the best of the best medical team. At the medical center, a part of the president’s treatment included taking two different antibodies, Remdesivir and Dexamethasone, both of which were only recently introduced as a COVID-19 treatment. Nine months into the pandemic allows for improved research, a better understanding of the virus and overall a more effective treatment. On Oct. 5, only three days after he arrived at the medical center, the Commander-in-Chief announced that he would be going back to the White House, awaited by a medical unit on staff 24/7, who would speak to the press daily about his condition. That same day, the president exclaimed that he felt better than he did 20 years ago and told Americans to not be afraid of COVID-19. This was an extremely ignorant and irresponsible thing to say, considering his experience with the virus was nothing like what most other Americans have gone through.

“I find it terrifying that he tested positive for COVID-19 and then three days later proceeded to be in public not wearing a mask. I do not understand why he speaks in such ways that give people as little necessary information as possible,” sophomore Amelie Chaskes said.

Due to hospital limitations and precaution for further spread, countless numbers of people never even got the chance to say goodbye to loved ones before they passed due to COVID-19. The fact that he was allowed to depart from the hospital while being contagious further sharpens the contrasts between upper and middle class people, specifically the vast differences in their experiences with the Coronavirus.
So, not only did the president have the advantage of getting the virus at a time where there is better knowledge, but he is also a privileged man.

Minorities’ death rate due to COVID-19 is roughly triple or more that of White Americans. Because of decreased healthcare access, low-quality housing, disproportionate representation in vulnerable jobs and economic inequalities, minorities are far more susceptible to contracting and dying of the virus. An analysis of what the president’s treatment would cost an average American is estimated at likely more than one hundred thousand dollars, a price that many Americans would not be able to afford, leaving them with only the necessities of a COVID-19 treatment, or, more likely, no treatment at all. Trump’s tweet advising Americans to not be afraid of COVID-19 was extremely inconsiderate and one-sided, completely ignorant of the two hundred thousand deaths and millions of sufferable cases that were not as fortunate as him.

“I knew that being a wealthy white male he was going to get all the best medications and treatments possible to get him out of the hospital quickly. That is what privilege does. He was in a huge hospital room with all the luxuries and took a stroll in a car like nothing, while thousands of people dying can not say goodbye to their family members,” junior Melany Cervelo said.

If his privilege during his treatment was not enough, the president left the hospital and put many others at risk of contagion merely because he wanted to say hello to his supporters. Even though he was in an extremely serious situation, Trump decided he wanted to leave his one-of-a-kind medical team to briefly wave to fans of his. In order to do this, Trump had to get in a car, a confined area, with two secret service men. If this wasn’t contagious enough, the windows of the car were obviously up for security reasons. With the liberty to leave the hospital whenever and the fact that he risked infecting two secret service men, this short outing became an outrage, ultimately due to the president’s disregard for his workers’ health.

With the responsibility of leading and keeping control of the country, a president should be proactive, resolute and exemplary during times of crises– all things which the current president is not. When Trump returned to the White House the evening of Oct. 5, the first thing he did was take off his mask, despite his state of contagion. Furthermore, he exclaimed how the virus is not something to be afraid of. Both of these actions are a sure way to increase COVID-19 cases by undermining the hard work of the CDC.

COVID-19, as has been stressed countless times throughout the pandemic, is a deadly virus. The president’s tweet and his disregard for masks will only exacerbate the situation, making people even more inclined to completely ignore the CDC guidelines and treat the virus like a trivial cold.
With no compassion for those less fortunate than him and a complete disregard for science, President Trump has continued to downplay COVID-19, maybe even more so since he contracted the virus.