Donald Trump has the coronavirus. If anything, the fact that he only has it now makes me hopeful about the transmission of the virus currently, seven months into the pandemic. Trump spent the last seven months in a haze of denial and masklessness, basically licking toilets and encouraging people to breathe and spit on him. And he only got it NOW, after spending a curious amount of time with Hope Hicks. There are a lot of discussions happening in the White House right now, about whether Trump should address the nation today, whether his age and comorbidities will mean a severe case of the virus, and whether we should have a serious conversation about the 25th Amendment.
Maggie Haberman and the other NYT White House reporters have a lot of tea. Trump will be working from the residence for the next two weeks and no one will say if Mel and Don are experiencing symptoms. Staff are currently removing items from Trump’s schedule except that which can be done over the phone. The market is taking a huge hit this morning, and that’s all Trump really cares about – he might feel like he needs to go on camera with some kind of statement just to keep the Dow from plummeting. Also, keep in mind that all of the staffers now carrying out all of these tasks have all been in close proximity to Trump in the past week. They’re worried about themselves too. Here’s some interesting info about what Trump says and does in public versus how he is in private:
The symbolism of an infected American president could rattle allies, as well as governors and business owners trying to assess when and how to reopen or keep open shops, schools, parks, beaches, restaurants, factories and other workplaces. Eager to restore a semblance of normal life before the election, Mr. Trump has dismissed health concerns to demand that schools reopen, college football resume play and businesses return to full operation.
In his eighth decade of life, Mr. Trump belongs to the age category deemed most vulnerable to the coronavirus. Eight out of every 10 deaths attributed to it in the United States have been among those 65 and older. In private discussions, Mr. Trump has been fatalistic with associates when talking about whether he or others would get sick from the virus, describing it as essentially a roll of the dice. He has been resistant to permitting details of his health to be made public, raising questions about his overall condition.
But while Mr. Trump has been reported to have high cholesterol and tips the scale at 243 pounds, which is considered obese for his height, Dr. Conley, his physician, pronounced Mr. Trump in “very good health” last year after his last full medical checkup. And, unlike many of those who have succumbed to the virus, he will have the best medical care available.
Behind the scenes, though, the self-described germophobe was angry in the spring that his valet, who is among those who serve him food, had not been wearing a mask before testing positive, according to people in touch with him. Mr. Trump privately expressed irritation with people who got too close to him. According to the president, he began taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, proactively around this time and later said it caused no adverse effects.
In the White House, advisers to the president acknowledged that the positive test would remind voters of how dismissive Mr. Trump had been about the virus, not only with his own neglect of safety but also in his overly rosy assessments about a pandemic that has killed more than 207,000 people in the United States. Mr. Trump’s recklessness, one adviser admitted, amounted to a political “disaster.”
“Trump is now in the position of becoming exhibit No. 1 for the failure of his leadership on coronavirus, and he runs the risk that his supporters will feel misled by his dismissiveness of the virus and the need for precautions,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster.
The president was already lagging in the polls in part because of his difficulties with older voters, a constituency that leans Republican but is also at the highest risk from the virus. In the early hours of Friday, some of Mr. Trump’s aides were discussing ways for him to be seen by the public later in the day, so that he could convey to them that he was still leading the country. One option was an address to the nation, a person briefed on the discussions said. Yet in private conversations, members of his staff were also candid that the president has comorbidities that could make him more susceptible to a severe bout of the virus.
[From The NY Times]
Yeah. All of this. I agree that Trump is a liar and he probably would have faked the coronavirus to get out of debating Biden again and all of that. But I just don’t think he would fake ALL of this. It sounds like the White House staff are freaking out and no one knows if they should put Trump on camera and no one knows how ill Trump could get. Whew. Comorbidities, boy, I don’t know.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red, Backgrid.