Friday, October 02, 2020

Trump Has COVID-19

So now Trump has the disease, and is going to the hospital on the advice of doctors. With presidents and health, it's usually a safe bet to assume the situation is worst than they're telling us. Of course, the president will get all precautions and the best care, and I hope he and his wife will both have only a mild case of the disease and recover quickly and fully. 

Going one day from symptoms to the hospital is startling. As Scientific American writes, "Trump's COVID Infection Puts Him in Multiple High-Risk Categories." 
The president is age 74, male and heavy—all factors linked to more severe cases of the illness
Hope Hicks, a senior advisor to the president who had apparently been by his side, tested positive on Thursday, and was on Marine One with him (the presidential helicopter) and then his plane (where she was isolated), but Trump went ahead to the campaign event in New Jersey that evening and didn't wear a mask. Later, at a more exclusive soiree where he mingled shoulder-to-shoulder with people, he didn't wear a mask or, obviously, social distance. He may now become a superspreader.

Trump tempted fate and science, and lost. He mocked Joe Biden at the debate for wearing a mask. He also mocked Joe Biden's son for having a drug addiction problem. Biden reply was perfect: that he loved his son. I read that when Trump's first son was born and his wife suggested they name him Donald, Jr., Trump asked "But what if he's a loser?" 

Frank Bruni in the NY Times captures the complexities of his feelings at the moment:
It’s a measure of the cynicism that has infected American politics — and, yes, me — that among my initial reactions to the news that President Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus was: Are we sure? Can we trust that? A man who so frequently and flamboyantly plays the victim, and who has been prophylactically compiling ways to explain away or dispute a projected election loss to Joe Biden, is now being forced off the campaign trail, which will be a monster of an excuse.

I couldn’t help thinking that.

I couldn’t help thinking, too, about karma, and I immediately felt and still feel petty for that. Trump has spent much of the past six months, during which more than 200,000 Americans died of causes related to the coronavirus, downplaying the pandemic, flinging out false reassurances and refusing to abide by the very public health guidelines that officials in his own government were fervently promoting.

He didn’t wear a mask. He encouraged large gatherings — including the Tulsa, Okla., rally that Herman Cain attended before falling sick with the coronavirus and dying, and his big convention speech — at which hundreds and even thousands of people, many without any facial covering, packed in tight. At the first presidential debate on Tuesday night, he mocked Biden for so often wearing a mask, suggesting that it was a sign of … what? Timidity? Weakness? Vogueishness? Moral vanity?
I would like to think this will finally make a difference in how this country treats this disease and how we all treat each other, and look out for one another, but sadly I don't think that's possible for about half the people in this country. That's how far we've gone.


Entropic man said...

When the UK Prime mInister went into ICU earlier this year it focused a lot of minds here.

Trump's misfortune might have the same effect.

David Appell said...

I wish I could think that.

J. D. said...

I can sympathize with what Frank Bruni is saying. It's impossible to say how many have died through Trump's irresponsible behaviour throughout this pandemic. We only know about Herman Cain dying after attending a superspreader rally because he was famous. Even if the people attending those rallies don't die they can spread it to others who do. Then there is his pushing drugs that don't help and discouraging people from wearing masks.
At the ceremony last Saturday in the rose garden people were seated shoulder to shoulder with few wearing masks. At the debate on Tuesday Trump's family refused to wear masks even when a doctor asked them to. Then Trump went to a fundraiser when he knew he might be infected. If we were able to take Trump out of the equation how many of the 209,000 who have died would be alive today?

Entropic man said...

What is it with this man?

He can't even catch Covid-19 without creating confusion!

J. D. said...

I'm trying to imagine what Fox News and the rest of the Trump friendly media would be saying if Biden had been holding superspreader events, then he turned up for Tuesday's debate already infected with his family refusing to wear masks. I can just see Tucker Carlson, apoplectic with rage saying, "they've just attempted to assassinate the president and now they will be coming for you".

Still it's good to see that nine months after the start of the pandemic and with 209,000 dead Trump’s staff have decided maybe it's a good idea to set an example and start wearing masks. Which suggests that Entropic man might be correct that something good could come of this.

J. D. said...

Is anyone else hearing that the statement put out by Sean Conley playing down the severity of Trump's illness is a load of boloney? It seems that one of the sources is the White House chief of staff. If true Trump is much more serious than they are letting on and it could go either way.
Another indication is that if Trump were confined to bed and recovering he wouldn't have been off twitter but there have only been a couple of tweets and they look like they weren't written by him.
BTW Sean Conley is the same doctor who supposedly prescribed Trump hydroxychloroquine some time ago which suggests he will just say what he's told. Strangely enough the drugs that he's on now do not include HCQ in spite of the USA having a huge stockpile and it supposedly being a miracle cure.

David Appell said...

JD, not only did the Trump family refuse to wear masks at the debate when asked, they had agreed beforehand to wear them. Arrogant, arrogant people.

David Appell said...

JD wrote:
Still it's good to see that nine months after the start of the pandemic and with 209,000 dead Trump’s staff have decided maybe it's a good idea to set an example and start wearing masks.

I read the White House Coronavirus Task Force will make no change in their face mask policy -- encourage wearing them, but no mandate.

But I also read that inside the White House everyone is now panicking and requiring masks and a policy of visiting the Executive Branch only if you have to. But it's probably too late now.

David Appell said...

I didn't know that about Conley and HCQ.

At this point I don't believe anything I hear from "officials," except perhaps leaks to journalists. This administration, from top to bottom, lies constantly and now they're paying the price as no one believes a word they say.

They didn't even announce that Hope Hicks had COVID -- that info came from a leak to a Bloomberg journalist.

David Appell said...

EM, Trump can't do anything without creating chaos and confusion. From what I read it was like this with him for decades. I hope most Americans are finally sick of it.