President Donald Trump tested positive for coronavirus last Thursday. He spent three nights in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center before returning to the White House. At least 14 people close to President Trump also have tested positive, including Melania Trump, Hope Hicks, Kellyanne Conway and Chris Christie. I have multiple thoughts about this, which I will separate below.
Is it moral to celebrate President Trump testing positive?
I certainly don’t think it’s immoral to be happy that someone who has caused so many others harm is facing at least slight repercussions for his actions. Trump’s response to the virus has led to the death of over 210,000 Americans, and I think we should be allowed to appreciate the irony of him testing positive for a disease he has ignored and downplayed for so long. Anyone who says otherwise is speaking over those who have been affected.
President Trump has had a vastly better experience
Trump’s political position and wealth have allowed him to have a better experience with the virus than the majority of Americans who have tested positive for it. Upon testing positive, Trump was flown to a private hospital suite and was constantly monitored and given medicine. Many Americans have struggled in every facet of coronavirus, from being tested to paying for medical care to finding space in a hospital. Some have died in their homes, unable to access even basic medical care, while Trump was immediately able to access top medical care, and even experimental drug treatments not yet approved by the FDA.
President Trump underestimates the virus
On Sunday, four days after testing positive for coronavirus, Trump left his hospital to show himself off to his supporters, riding in the back of a hermetically sealed Presidential SUV with two Secret Service officers. On Monday, he returned to the White House, removing his mask and stuffing it into his pocket. “Feeling really good!” he tweeted. “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life…I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”
Over 210,000 Americans have died from coronavirus. Despite this, it does not seem like Trump is treating coronavirus with the caution it deserves. The way he talks about it makes it sound like he came down with a minor cold, not a disease that Americans continue to die from every day.
Things are not over yet
White House employees have arranged a temporary suite of offices next to the White House medical suite so that Trump can continue to be monitored and cared for. According to CNN, “Trump’s working space was adjusted both in the interest of constantly monitoring the still-convalescing President and in the hopes of keeping him out of the West Wing, where staffers are contending with a growing coronavirus outbreak.” The way things are going, I think they will get worse before they get better, and I don’t think President Trump’s attitude is going to help matters at all.
Trump’s flippant attitude in response to testing positive for coronavirus has put him, his family, and his coworkers in danger. He continues to downplay the virus, even after having it, and I think this will harm his supporters, who will continue to believe that the coronavirus is a hoax or a minor illness. His privilege of having access to proper medical care also affects his already limited ability to empathize with the American people. After all of that I think we should be able to laugh at the irony of his diagnosis — after all, laughter is the best medicine most of us can afford.