With a single tweet, Donald Trump has blatantly put the lives of the American people at risk.
On Monday afternoon, Trump tweeted to announce that he will be leaving Walter Reed Medical Center at 6:30 p.m. ET, and then proceeded to tell his 86.9 million followers not to fear COVID-19, the deadly virus that has already killed 209,199 Americans.
After announcing that he’d be leaving the medical facility, Trump wrote, “Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”
I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2020
The fact that the president of the United States would tell the people of his country not to be afraid of a deadly virus that’s killed more than 200,000 Americans in the past several months, is almost too irresponsible to even comprehend. And it’s crucial to remember that even if Trump fully recovers from this virus, he received excellent medical care as the president that so many other Americans wouldn’t have access to if they were diagnosed.
We are glad you are feeling better but don’t assume the extraordinary care you – as POTUS – received at the incomparable Walter Reed is reflective of the care available to all Americans. The healthcare providers in the US are great but huge gaps in access exist for many. https://t.co/IKcxiWTlga
— John Delaney (@JohnDelaney) October 5, 2020
Virus caused drops in oxygen levels for @realDonaldTrump; trouble breathing; hospitalization & possible lung damage. @POTUS was also given oxygen treatment; an expensive experimental drug; an expensive new drug & a strong steroid.
Americans should absolutely be afraid of Covid. https://t.co/DkgHNFUAos
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) October 5, 2020
Don’t be afraid of Covid?!
You’ve been under round-the-clock care by the best doctors using the best drugs. Do you really think everyone has access to that?!
Sadly, I’m sure you’re aware of that disparity, you just don’t care
This is reckless to a shocking degree, even for you https://t.co/H8CGlD9DcZ
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) October 5, 2020
I don’t know who said it, but a commentator early on in Trump presidency reflected that for Trump there is no yesterday or tomorrow. No history to learn from. No consequences to avoid.
There are over 200,000 Americans that don’t have tomorrow as a luxury. https://t.co/sdxOfDoQkQ
— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) October 5, 2020
I’m sorry to all the Americans who have lost loved ones to this virus and who are being treated so callously by the person/people elected to protect and support you in tragic times. Your lost and your pain are acknowledged by so many of us, please know that. https://t.co/ZHLwxEanCV
— Lisa Lucas (@likaluca) October 5, 2020
On Sunday, Trump was criticized for putting the health of several secret service agents at risk by taking an accompanied drive around Walter Reed Medical Center so that he could wave to his supporters outside. And in the days since his diagnosis, his team has continued to downplay the severity of the virus and show reluctance towards making masks mandatory at the White House. In the past week multiple people in Trump’s orbit have also tested positive for the virus, including first lady Melania Trump, Trump’s senior aide Hope Hicks, and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. This makes Trump’s callous comments about the coronavirus even more perplexing.
When it comes to taking proper precautions for this virus, Trump can’t be trusted to give sound, scientific advice. You must rely on the guidance of medical professionals and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention going forward. Enforce social distancing and wear face masks to protect yourself and others. And no matter what the president of the United States tweets, know that you need to take this virus seriously.
UPDATE: Oct. 5, 2020, 5:26 p.m. PDT: After returning to the White House from Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday evening, Trump continued to downplay the impact of the coronavirus on Twitter. In a produced video on the White House balcony, Trump said, “Don’t let it dominate. Don’t let it take over your lives. Don’t let that happen.”
Of course, Trump and his administration are responsible for letting the deadly virus dominate American lives. The president has often scoffed at mask wearing (he wore one as he exited the hospital but took it off when he arrived at the White House as a publicity stunt for the news cameras) and taken steps to politicize the pandemic. Americans have died, lost their jobs, and are worried about their children’s educations and futures. The president’s message: “I know there’s a risk, there’s a danger, but that’s OK.”
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