COLUMN: Even a COVID-19 diagnosis can’t fix Trump’s indifference toward the pandemic

On October 1, Donald Trump contracted the coronavirus yet continued his fabled perspective on the pandemic.
Graphic by Jacob LaGesse

Faith Brown is a Freshman psychology major at MU. She is an opinion columnist who writes about introspective takes on modern society for The Maneater.

It's easy to assume that celebrities, public figures and even politicians are immune to the coronavirus. However, this is not the case. The lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous seem to be meeting an abrupt change as more and more notable figures contract COVID-19.

The President of the United States should be the last person anyone would want or expect to catch a disease that has killed over 221,000 lives in America alone. However, Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have caught the coronavirus.

Trump has previously stated that coronavirus numbers are only increasing because people are reporting the cases, not because people are actually getting sick. If we are to look at this situation from Donald Trump’s logic, he only got the virus because he got tested for it.

All jokes aside, a breakthrough between Trump and Americans suffering from coronavirus was imminent. While it’s entirely wrong to wish illnesses on other people, especially with a disease as serious as COVID-19, one couldn’t help but think of the significant (and hopefully constructive) implications that could have resulted from the president contracting the virus. However, the nation was let down by his response yet again.

Donald Trump found himself wrapped up in its grasp and continues to gaslight the experiences of those with the disease despite having been hospitalized for it. He claimed his illness was “a blessing from God” which is a direct insult to anyone who has been lucky enough to survive COVID-19 or has lost family members to it.

One would believe that contracting the disease would encourage the president to better his plan for COVID-19 to benefit himself, but this is not the case. In fact, the president claims he can still be entirely present for the remainder of his political campaign because he is “not contagious.” Anyone who has been staying up to date on the coronavirus knows it is undeniably contagious. The CDC has outlined that a person can remain contagious for up to ten days after a positive diagnosis, twenty days for severe cases. The president ought to know that he is not an exception to the problem of spreading infection.

Even though he tested positive two weeks ago, Donald Trump had begun planning a rally this weekend in Florida, which ranks in the top five for states with the most COVID-19 cases. He continues to show an endless need to be reckless with his actions while having the deadly virus.

What does it say for the safety of our country if its so-called leader continues to undermine the experiences of those who have been affected by the coronavirus? What could have been a long due apology to the American people for his constant nonchalant behavior during the course of this pandemic has turned into a mess of speculation and insufficient updates on the behalf of the President.

Donald Trump’s contraction of the coronavirus is an extreme version of a runny-nosed kid on a playground. Much like Donald Trump's, a child's world is deeply rooted in egocentrism; they do not fully understand the consequences of their actions until the damage is done. A kid with a runny nose will wipe their nose and touch everything and everybody without knowing why their actions are unsanitary and dangerous toward the health of the people surrounding them.

Donald Trump only sees this pandemic from his own point of view and lacks regard for others. In his world, he has all the money and connections needed to gain access to exclusive treatments that others cannot afford under normal conditions. Donald Trump believes everyone should go out and get the treatments he is “blessed” with and move on, knowing good and well his experience of COVID-19 was made easier due to his wealth.

We should be looking at Trump’s situation through a worried lens given his ostentatious (and grossly counterfactual) opinions on the pandemic. While others may take it to the extreme and say that Donald Trump deserves COVID-19, I recommend we stray from that ideology. No one deserves an illness that has claimed over 221,000 lives and infected more than 7.8 million in this nation, not even Donald Trump. All we can hope is that he learns something from his experience, though the likelihood of that happening is regrettably low.

_As part of the fight against racial injustice, The Maneater is encouraging readers to donate to Color of Change, a national civil rights group that works to strengthen the political voices of African Americans. Donate at: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/support-us?refcode=coc_website_popup._

Edited by Sofi Zeman | szeman@themaneater.com

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