Thorns in the Rose Garden – The President and COVID-19

The right thing, to do, of course is to wish President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump the safest recovery after testing positive for COVID-19, a stunning event that reinforces the need for all Americans to be vigilant and take necessary science-backed precautions against this deadly pandemic.

But there is anger too. Trump has mocked, berated, trashed science at a time when we needed it most. He raised the specter of using unproven medications. He scoffed at former Vice President Biden for wearing those big masks all the time. He’s called COVID-19 the China virus. He said it would magically disappear.

Trump being Trump. And now he’s sick, leader of the Free World, who has led millions astray by resisting calls for proper social distancing, wearing masks, and his stutter-step of leadership may have cost thousands of lives here in the U.S.

In February, as the virus was making its way to haunt us, Trump told journalist Bob Woodward that he was playing down the dangers of the virus. “You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” Trump told Woodward on a Feb. 7 call. “And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu.”

Delicate like a flower, deadlier than a flu. Just breathe the air, take a breath, feel the air.

Trump knew the consequences of being around others, not wearing a mask. He’s 74 years old and obese, his condition at high risk because of the virus. He’s famous for not wanting to be a germaphobe – and yet.

Up until his illness, and beyond, Trump also has been a master deflector, liar, when he felt it necessary. And of course, there are questions now about the veracity of the White House statements about Trump’s condition right to this very minute.

It was widely reported last night about uncertainty over disclosures about the timeline when Trump actually got sick even before he tweeted about it early Friday morning, and also about when he was tested, such as what point he was negative, and also whether he was given additional oxygen.

And what about all the events the President had attended during the week:including a reception at the Rose Garden for the Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, and an event inside the White House, and earlier in the week — at a time when he just might have been infected – at an event at Bedminster, NJ? How much of a spreader was he and others?

At least eight people, including senators and top aides to Trump, already have tested positive for COVID-19 after being at the Rose Garden and at the reception. What about the fate of others in attendance? Who did they contact with? Bedminster is a beautiful town. What is the impact there?

The question of contact tracing: The Washington Post reported this morning that the Centers for Disease Control’s contact tracing agency “was not mobilized” to check where Trump held events, and it hadn’t even heard from this White House.

The threat of the virus – which has resulted in deaths of more than 200,000 in the U.S. and more than 1 million worldwide, shows that no matter someone’s station in life – even at the highest levels such as the presidency – no one is immune. Especially if you don’t take the proper safety precautions.

Yes, we get tired of putting on the mask. Tired of all the negative news. Tired of not seeing people. Tired. Tired. Tired. We just have to keep doing what we can to thwart the virus.

Trump has taken an experimental drug and one not yet fully approved by the FDA, which makes one wonder how he is really doing. News reports are saying the next day or so is going to be critical. In his words, Trump conceded he hadn’t been feeling well, but is feeling much better.

If Trump recovers, which we hope he does, and he goes on to debates, and within the next month stands up to the voters on election day, will the main character of his life – himself — change?

What will the “story arc” of Trump be? Will he evolve from a denouncer of all rules, and science, or become empathetic, and be someone who is humble and preaches the word of hope and freedom, and take every action necessary to be a symbol and example for all of us to be as safe as we can be, and do so with faith that we have a strong leader behind us.

Don’t count on it. – Joe Cantlupe, Health Data Buzz

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