It was only a matter of time, and sure enough, President Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19.
His condition was announced early on Oct. 2, and Trump was admitted to Walter Reed National Medical Center not long after.
He was set to leave the hospital on Oct. 5 and tweeted to followers, “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.”
Before he left, Trump took a ride around the hospital in an SUV to wave to supporters who had gathered outside.
Trump has downplayed the virus publicly and privately. He has mocked people wearing facemasks, including Democratic candidate Joe Biden during the presidential debate on Sept. 29.
Trump’s family reportedly turned down masks when they arrived to the debate. They showed up too late to be tested, and they were allowed to use the honor system regarding their health status, which raises even more questions about Trump’s honesty.
It could be that Trump will be healthy in a few days or week or months. That doesn’t change the fact that he endangered many people around him.
First Lady Melania Trump has the virus, and so do several of Trump’s staff.
Trump doesn’t wear a mask when he speaks at rallies, nor do his followers. Masks were a rare sight at the Rose Garden on Sept. 26, when Trump introduced Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.
While some people may hope for illness—or worse—for the president, that is unacceptable, but their lack of sympathy is understandable.
Trump has been compared to the mayor in the film “Jaws,” who is adamant about beaches staying open despite reports of a prowling great white shark. The mayor doesn’t want to listen to scientists—that sounds familiar.
Among Trump’s staff infected include White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who uttered an infamous prediction in March.
“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here,” she said. “We will not see terrorism come here, and isn’t that refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama?”
The virus, of course, did get here, and more than 200,000 Americans are dead.
It would have been easy for Trump and his staff to wear masks.
Then again, whether it’s taking an easy precaution during a pandemic—or condemning white supremacy—the Trump administration has made countless challenges more difficult than they needed to be.