Opinion: Trump’s Corona Irresponsibility

BBC, “US election 2020: The defining moment of the Trump presidency,

BBC, “US election 2020: The defining moment of the Trump presidency,” Nick Bryant

Sriya Guduru, World News Editor

On Friday, October 2nd, President Trump tweeted that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19. This came one day after the first presidential debate, prior to which he had not been tested for the coronavirus, mere days after Trump had flown to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, and New Jersey. Regardless of political affiliation, Trump’s diagnosis is an incredibly gross oversimplification of just how detrimental COVID-19 is.

The CDC recommends self-quarantining for 14 days even after making contact with someone with COVID symptoms or travelling between states. While many political officials, including Former Vice President Joe Biden, have forgone the latter, it’s inexcusable to think that the leader of the free world thinks he is exempt from these guidelines. Several members of the administration and White House staffers have all tested positive, making it more likely than not that President Trump was in contact with them.

Even after he and the First Lady tested positive, the President chose to prioritize saving face over his family’s and loved ones safety. He was photographed in a motorcade with federal staff with car windows completely rolled up. There was no air flow into this car, making transmission of the virus incredibly likely. But perhaps the greatest transgression by the President was the above picture taken on October 6th.

In my opinion, his blue suit ensemble, similar to JFK’s iconic ensemble during the Kennedy-Nixon debates, was a show of power. His skin looked flawless, and his health seemed completely fine. He stood with the American flags in frame, revealing how the country remains strong during this time. And his salute is the icing on the cake to top off this pictorial masterpiece. Furthermore, I don’t know about you all, but my YouTube Recommended as of late was flooded with new campaign ads after the president’s diagnosis. He had similarly pearly skin and an unflappable demeanor. His SnapChat also had a video of him saluting the people, with Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody” playing in the background. If this isn’t a nod to patriotism, I don’t know what is.

For the rest of us who can’t afford the presidential suite at Walter Reed, COVID-19 is much more serious than the president portrays. And for the commander-in-chief to be presenting a rhetoric in which a lethal disease is no worse than the common cold is quite a disappointment.