If President Donald Trump has learned anything from the disease with Covid-19, he won't show it.
Since Trump's diagnosis last Thursday, he and his administration have worked diligently to cover up the president's illness. You downplayed his symptoms. They suggested that he should be hospitalized not because of what appears to be a high fever and low oxygen levels, but out of caution. They posted videos and photos of the president doing normal things. Even the president's own doctors have become politicized, arguing that they were trying to be "optimistic" as they refused to fully and truthfully answer questions about Trump's health.
On Sunday it culminated in a photo op in which Trump was driven in front of the Walter Reed Hospital as he waved to the supporters and exposed at least one driver and one passenger in Trump's car to his infection. James Phillips, attending physician at Walter Reed, tweeted, “This President's SUV is not only bulletproof, but also hermetically sealed against chemical attack. The risk of COVID19 transmission inside is as high as outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is amazing. My mind is forced to gamble with the Secret Service. "
All of this comes from the same playbook Trump used for Covid-19 from day one. It is an attempt to make everything seem normal, as if the coronavirus is not ruining lives in a desperate attempt to return to a better world that could help ensure Trump's re-election. As Trump told journalist Bob Woodward, "I've always wanted to downplay (the coronavirus)."
Trump has stuck to it, even if it repeatedly puts people in danger, even after he became sick himself. He called for states to be reopened – to "liberate" them – even though experts warned that opening too early would lead to new cases (and the cases that came with states opening early in the summer). Pushing for fewer testing, argues that more testing is picking up more cases, making the US look bad as a result, even though experts said more testing along with contact tracing is needed to slow the outbreak. He's made fun of masks and often refused to wear one himself, even when experts and a growing number of researchers show that masks are key to stopping Covid-19.
That obsession with creating a false sense of normalcy seemed to extend to the moment Trump received a positive coronavirus test. As the Washington Post originally reported and White House staff confirmed, Trump attended campaign events Thursday even after he and his staff learned that one of Trump's closest associates, Hope Hicks, was showing symptoms. This went on based on recent reports when some staff members noted that Trump seemed tired and likely sick himself. Trump has likely exposed his own employees and supporters to Covid-19.
One possible silver lining for Trump's illness was that perhaps it would show him how serious this virus is – that it is real, that it can make people very sick and kill them. Trump alluded to it in a video on Sunday, claiming, “I learned a lot about Covid. I learned it by actually going to school. This is the real school. “Nevertheless, Trump was outside again on Sunday because of the drive-by photo ops, in which his employees were possibly at least exposed to the corona virus.
This is all ridiculous, of course, because we already know Trump is sick and hospitalized. Obviously this is not normal.
And we know the consequences of this act. So far, the US has ended with nearly 210,000 Covid-19 deaths – more than any other country in the world. In this way, the US ended up in the top 20 percent of developed countries for Covid-19 deaths after population consideration. (If the US had the same Covid-19 death rate as Canada, there would probably be more than 125,000 Americans alive today.) This is why America cannot return to normal, even as countries like Germany, New Zealand and South Korea open up more as it does Far too many coronavirus cases – nearly 100,000 new cases since Trump tested positive.
That's why Trump got sick himself. While experiencing his rejection, going to ill-advised rallies and events, and often refusing to wear a mask, Trump repeatedly exposed himself to the coronavirus.
And everything will go on – as Trump and the flood of falsehoods and political influence of his staff proved over the weekend.