No one is immune from the impacts of COVID-19, and that includes the most powerful man in the free world.
President Donald Trump, his inner circle and many of his followers ignored the scientific advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on wearing masks in public and other everyday precautions — and the president modeled this behavior despite knowing full well that the pandemic was a once-in-a-lifetime public health crisis.
Now the president has contracted the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, and the White House has become the site of a growing COVID-19 outbreak that includes about 25 cases. By the time you read this, it might be more.
The news of Trump’s illness wasn’t exactly a shocker given the president’s reckless behavior.
But for those who needed a wake-up call regarding COVID-19 — and we have seen plenty of people out there still ignoring the experts’ advice in recent weeks, such as numerous attendees at a Trump rally in Albany — this should serve as yet another alarm bell. Please, wear a mask and take this pandemic seriously.
The consequences if you don’t could be devastating, if not for you, then potentially for your family, friends and co-workers.
Nearly 210,000 people have died during the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. That number is only going to go up, as the disease remains with us and caseloads are generally increasing across the nation.
To be clear, though he’s back in the White House after a three-day hospitalization, Trump presumably is still contagious and isn’t “out of the woods,” according to his own doctor.
We pay close attention to Oregon’s coronavirus reports, and those show that COVID-19 can linger for weeks before a person fully recovers — or succumbs to the illness. There have been instances where people seemed on the road to recovery, then worsened.
Even for those who fully recover, it’s a long road. Oregon Health Authority statistics show that the average recovery time to be free of COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and diarrhea is 26 days for those who have been hospitalized. For residents in Oregon who weren’t hospitalized but had symptoms of COVID-19, the average recovery time was 20 days. And some people have never returned to health, including fit young adults.
Trump, to be sure, is in a position to get far better medical treatment than ordinary Americans. Very few of us are able to be whisked away to a military hospital via helicopter at a moment’s notice and receive experimental drugs while being carefully monitored by a team of doctors.
Even back at the White House, Trump can receive top-notch health care around the clock. Possibly more than any other person on the planet, Trump’s chances of surviving COVID-19 have been boosted by his position.
After returning to the White House, Trump once again downplayed the virus, saying that Americans should not be afraid of COVID-19.
But inside the White House, among the employees, only a fool is without fear. According to the Associated Press, the West Wing is a ghost town and staff members are scared of contracting the virus. They’re also seething because several staffers learned they were exposed, without their knowledge, to people whom the White House already knew could be contagious, the AP reported.
Despite all of Trump’s missteps regarding COVID-19, including lying to the public about the severity of the illness for months, we still wish the president a speedy and full recovery. And we hope that he’ll start taking the advice of medical experts and begin taking the pandemic seriously.