By Caroline Gracia
President Trump’s relationship with the coronavirus has long been built on false information and months of under-preparedness. Trump has sought to sustain his self-imposed superiority over the virus and his inability to catch it through his disregarding of medical authorities advice, mishandling of the Center for Disease Control, and holding of several maskless and indoor campaign rallies. On Thursday, October 1st, Trump’s knight of shining armour cracked— he and Melania tested positive for Coronavirus just a short two days after the first presidential debate. Back in April, when the CDC first recommended the use of face masks as a means of preventing and slowing the spread of the virus, Trump advised the American public that the use of masks is voluntary and that he couldn’t see himself meeting prime ministers, dictators, and other world leaders while wearing a mask. Over the summer, as confirmed cases in the US surged and became the worst in the world, Trump posed for pictures with veterans while not wearing a mask and he held several campaign rallies that lacked health measures and were indoor, despite all health guidelines.
Now in the final days of campaign season and as Trump has proven second to Biden in the polls, Trump has sought to reassert his dominance by hastily planning and holding 35 rallies within the last two months alone. His new diagnosis sets the future of his presidential campaign in uncertainty and has shifted his administration’s initial indifference regarding the virus towards a position that now advises people to wear masks. Trump’s campaign team has moved most rallies online and plans to proceed on a case-by-case basis planification.
The Trump administration has assured that President Trump is successfully recovering from a mild case of coronavirus. After Trump was spontaneously transported to Walter Reed Hospital, campaign aides gave conflicting reports on the president’s case. While the White House physician Sean Conley reported a stable and healthy progress for the President, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows asserted that Trump’s time in the hospital was critical for his recovery and that he was still in the midst of fighting the virus. As the real status of Trump’s diagnosis is unclear, it remains clear that it is within the best interest of the Trump administration to report on a speedy recovery after months of downplaying the virus.
Now back at the White House, Trump has made his staff vulnerable and has forced a large number of the secret service into quarantine. Since his release from the hospital, Trump has called his diagnosis “a blessing from God” in a recent maskless video filmed on the White House lawn. Trump credits his success with an experimental drug, produced by Regeneron, as the founding for the timely cure for Covid. He recounts that the use of experimental drugs such as Regeneron’s were unthought of just a few months ago when the use of experimental drugs has been under trial for months but has unsurprisingly been overlooked by the Trump administration. His own diagnosis and need for a speedy recovery to return to the campaign trail fuel his incentives to rush the development of a vaccine and get the approval of experimental drugs by the Federal Drug Administration. This new incentive is untimely and misleading as this is not the first time Trump has advocated for the misuse of experimental drugs as a form of treatment. Back in April, Trump urged the ingestion of disinfectant as a means of prevention of Coronavirus. It is also untimely because it is primarily motivated by Trump’s own diagnosis and it comes after more 214,000 Americans have died from the pandemic. This is also not the first time Trump has incorrectly used the terms “therapeutic drug” and “cure” interchangeably; back in August, as the CDC was exploring the use of blood plasma as a means of treatment, proved to be largely inefficient, Trump called blood plasma “a historic breakthrough.” President Trump assures that the treatment will be free, which directly contradicts his opposition to Universal Healthcare and repeal of Obamacare, which made many healthcare more affordable to millions of Americans. Trump’s claims that a vaccine is nearly ready and oversimplification of experimental drugs as a promising cure not only miseducates Americans but compliments his false promise that the development of a vaccine is hindered by bipartisan politics and that it will be passed after the election, subject to his re-election. President Trump continues planning for in-person events even as his recovery continues; with the second presidential debate avoided, it remains unclear whether Biden and Trump will meet again.