COVID in the (White) House!
(@nytimes / Instagram)
Well, well. Here I am again, writing about Donald Trump and the live-action film that is 2020. The finale, it seems, did the one thing that made Democrats believe in a higher power and Republicans believe in science although it is an ending that I’m sure we all expected.
I was doing what any college student does after midnight on Friday these days and was scrolling through Twitter when my screen refreshed and bought me the news. I saw what was trending and couldn’t believe it. That’s when I saw the tweet. "Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
President Donald Trump announced Friday morning that him and First Lady Melania Trump have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. After a long couple of months, which consisted of 200,000+ Americans dying at the hands of his leadership, him avoiding taking the necessary safety precautions, and holding rallies and large events, the inevitable occurred.
If Trump contracted the disease sometime last week (he had tweeted that he tested negative before Tuesday’s debate with Biden), there would be plenty of events within the last two weeks that would give the virus an opportunity to get him. Trump has held huge gatherings and rallies, meeting with other politicians with no hesitation and no social distancing. But the event believed to have been the super spreader for the virus is an event held last Saturday that announced the nomination for Amy Coney Barrett’s place in the Supreme Court. Other people who attended the event who also tested positive are former White House counsel Kellyanne Conway — and thus her family, including 15-year-old whistleblower Claudia Conway — and former governor and Trump adviser Chris Christie.
The irony is, this is the very event that could put Barrett’s approval for the position in danger. Senator Mike Lee from Utah and Senator Thom Tillis from North Carolina have both tested positive for COVID-19, as well. Without their votes, Barrett might not be able to make it to the Supreme Court as early as the Republicans want.
The tweet, in which he called the virus the coronavirus, instead of his preferred name, “China Virus”, was met with extremely strong reactions.
Notable politicians from both sides of the political spectrum tweeted well wishes to Donald Trump. Some of these politicians were namely former President Barack Obama and presidential nominee Joe Biden, along with Vice President Mike Pence and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
House Speake Nancy Pelosi was much blunter and not as polite. Pelosi called Trump’s behavior over the past couple of months a “brazen invitation” to the coronavirus.
And she’s right.
There’s a decent chance Trump will beat this disease. After all, he has the best doctors in the world, treatment in waiting to be used by him, and a private helicopter that can get him to some of the best medical centers in the country. After months of denying American citizens proper healthcare, denying hospitals enough ventilators, and denying the disease existed when he could have caught it before any intense damage was done, Trump will get himself the resources and help that he has so long denied his own citizens.
So far, Trump has been given an experimental myriad of medications, including three unapproved therapies. Additionally, so far, there is no clear idea of what Trump’s condition is or how this is going to end. Trump’s medical team has stated that his blood oxygen level has dropped twice in the past couple of days, and the treatment given to him are one’s suggested for the very sick.
Other than that, over the past couple of days, the White House has been giving the public conflicting information and mixed signals. What we have directly from Trump are a series of videos he’s posted on Twitter, assuring his followers that he was doing great and making great progress.
In fact, we’ve been seeing several of these stunts for the public in which Trump encourages us to believe that he indeed is doing just fine. Photos were taken and released of him working and on Sunday he drove in a car, with a mask on, so that he could wave to supported outside of Walter Reed. Of course, this put the multiple agents alongside him at risk, forcing them to quarantine for 14 days.
Now, after three days, Trump is being discharged from Walter Reed Hospital and continue treatment for COVID at the White House. The scary thing is that people aren’t sure whether the White House is lying about the President’s condition or whether that cocktail of unapproved treatments and drugs really did work. Perhaps the privilege of having these new drugs swimming inside of him and actually did do something.
So, has Trump learned anything so far from his experience so far? Apparently not. After he returned back to the White House from Walter Reed Medical Center, he stood in the White House balcony to face live television cameras and removed his mask. (Many videos of the incident show him seemingly struggling to breathe, however.)
In his tweet announcing his departure from Walter Reed Medical Center, he wrote: “Don’t be afraid of Covid.”
Sure. The virus has killed 200,000+ Americans but if you take advantage of your money, power, and privilege to save your own life, you’ll be fine! How incredibly insulting and tone-deaf this is to those who have suffered from COVID or lost loved ones to this virus. How incredibly toxic this is to be saying this to his supporters, who listen to his every word.
Next time I contract a deadly disease, I’ll just take care of it by being born rich and privileged.
Anushka Dakshit is a Staff Writer at Rowdy Magazine. She likes to read, watch really long films, listen to old Bollywood, and listen to sad music when it rains. She wants to use her writing to discuss the nuances of womxnhood and culture and is passionate about social justice, femininity, and words that bring her catharsis. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org