I won’t pretend to be shocked or surprised at anything President Trump says or does anymore. While he does find a way to say or do something that I find odious and profoundly abhorrent almost daily, I learned in the early years of his seemingly never-ending time in office to expect the unexpected from him. After all, how far can his disrespect for the people he is sworn to represent get any worse after a certain point? This question was answered for me last week when Trump contracted COVID-19.
Trump, in a frankly hilarious moment of poetic justice, announced on October 2nd that he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and was promptly hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center, where his medical care was said to have been valued at around $100,000. After only 3 days of receiving said treatment, Trump was discharged from Walter Reed Medical Center and went back to the White House, where, in front of the press and countless members of his staff, he removed his mask and held two thumbs-up to the cameras. However, Trump’s audacity doesn’t end there. In an utterly callous display of derision in the face of 210,000 deaths in the United States alone from COVID-19, Trump tweeted, “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!”
For Trump to have tested positive for the virus, be hospitalized for a grand total of 2 days, and then stop receiving care only to once again belittle the severity and danger of the COVID-19 virus exudes unchecked privilege that, in my opinion, is unprecedented, even for him. Under his faulty leadership, 210,000 people have died from the virus and there has been a total of 7.45 million cases in the United States alone. While that number is growing rapidly and individual citizens, families, and communities suffer and die from this disease, President Trump sat up in a top-of-the-line medical center typing away on Twitter, urging the suffering American public to “not be afraid of Covid.”
When I read the tweet, I couldn’t help but sit still for a few moments while I let the absolute audacity and hypocrisy wash over me. Of course, I recognize that this level of disrespect on President Trump’s part is not unusual. I do not expect anyone’s mind to be changed by this development, but I would urge all those who find this kind of behavior in the highest office of our government revolting to vote against it. Use your voice, your time, and whatever resources you can spare to call for change because God knows we cannot take another 4 years of Trump telling the American people to “not be afraid” of a deadly international virus. — Isabelle Williams
Photo: President Trump returning to the White House from Walter Reed Medical Center after only 3 days of treatment for COVID-19. Creative Commons Image