Updated: Oct 5
Trump has been diagnosed and is experiencing mild symptoms.
Analysis by Savannah Simmons, Managing Editor
President Donald Trump’s behavior towards coronavirus may have not only led to his own positive diagnosis but the infection of possibly thousands of Americans, as well.
The announcement came late Thursday night when Trump took to Twitter to explain that he and First Lady Melania Trump both tested positive for the novel Coronavirus. It was reported this morning that both were experiencing mild symptoms and, as of Friday afternoon, Trump has been flown to Walter Reed Medical Center as a precautionary measure, according to NBC news.
“As of this afternoon the President remains fatigued but in good spirits,” wrote the President’s physician Sean P. Conley in a health update. “He’s being evaluated by a team of experts, and together we’ll be making recommendations to the President and First Lady in regards to next best steps.”
Although the Trump Administration, in response to COVID-19, announced travel restrictions to and from China in late January, dispatched hospital ships to hotspots in March and sent out one stimulus check to Americans while under shelter-in-place orders in April, there are a number of things he has done that have watered down the seriousness of the virus to his supporters.
Looking back at how the President handled the pandemic in the United States, there were many actions taken that could be construed as irresponsible and what climatically led to his own infection.
Repeatedly referring to coronavirus as the “Invisible China virus” or “Chinese virus” was misleading and xenophobic. This ultimately set the tone that the virus was not to be taken seriously. Trump’s name calling therefore, led to unfair ridicule and bias against Asian Americans and also helped him distract from criticism by placing blame on the Chinese government.
“It’s a horrible thing, should have never, ever happened,” said President Trump to the Associated Press. “China let this happen and just remember that.”
In March Trump spoke in support of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-Malaria drug, as an appropriate treatment in the early stages of COVID-19. After Trump revealed he had been taking it, the sales of the drug skyrocketed but the FDA rebuked the use of the drug for COVID-19 as it was “unlikely to kill or inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19.”
In the same vain, Trump referred to disinfectants cleaning the body and lungs through injection suggesting that it would be “interesting to check” which caused Lysol to come out with a clear statement that “under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route).”
After a Trump rally in June, two staffers tested positive for COVID-19. They joined six other staff members that tested positive just hours before the rally. Attendees to the rallies were not required to wear masks or social distance.
This is also the rally that is speculated to have been where Herman Cain contracted COVID-19 who ended up passing away from complications due to the virus. After his supporters and staffers tested positive, Trump continued to hold in-person rallies as late as September where masks and social distancing were not mandatory, and rarely used.
“I don’t wear masks like him,” said Trump during the debate. “Everytime you see him he’s got a mask. He could be 200 feet away and he's got the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”
Biden and his wife Jill have both tested negative for COVID-19, as has Vice President Mike Pence.
Despite President Trump, the First Lady and senior aide, Hope Hicks all testing positive for COVID-19 and experiencing mild symptoms, the White House will continue to let masks be a “personal choice”.