Monday, October 5, 2020

California, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming


What did Donald Trump do today?

He made absolutely sure everyone heard him repeat a lot of COVID-19 misinformation.

Trump left Walter Reed hospital shortly after 6:30 PM tonight. On landing in front of the White House, he climbed a short flight of exterior stairs. He then removed his mask, and paused for several minutes, visibly struggling to breathe—which is normal for an elderly COVID-19 patient who required hospitalization.

As TV cameras rolled from a distance, Trump then filmed a brief video—although at almost 90 seconds, with no apparent editing to cut out coughing fits, it's the longest he's been able to manage since being taken to Walter Reed. This is the annotated text of it:

I just left Walter Reed medical center, and it's really something special, the doctors, the nurses, the first responders, and I learned so much about coronavirus, and one thing that's for certain, don't let it dominate you. Don't be afraid of it.

"Fear" is a politically charged word, but there is every reason to treat it as dangerous. Trump himself was afraid he would die, early on: he mentioned an acquaintance who had succumbed to it and asked aides if he would "go out" in the same way. 

You're going to beat it.

At least 215,000 Americans have died of the disease, including about 3,600 since Trump entered the hospital.

We have the best medical equipment. We have the best medicines. All developed recently.

Trump has the best medicines. He is in a club of fewer than 300 people who have been allowed to take an antibody cocktail in the early stages of testing, made by a company whose CEO is a friend of his. He's also on remdesivir, a drug that is being rationed for other Americans

All treatments for COVID-19 has been developed recently, because the virus has existed only recently.

And you're going to beat it. I went, and I didn't feel so good, and two days ago—I could have left two days ago—two days ago I felt great, like better than I have in a long time, I said just recently, "better than twenty years ago." 

Trump is probably telling the truth when he said he felt good by Sunday, his third day of hospitalization. By then he was on dexamethasone, a steroid that can cause mania and delusions, and his 103° fever had been brought under control by antipyretic drugs.

Don't let it dominate. Don't let it take over your lives. Don't let that happen. 

Trump's refusal to let COVID-19 "take over" his life is why there is a rampant outbreak in the White House, which previously had a pretty good testing regimen for people who came in contact with him. Trump himself is the obvious link between the dozens of people in his political inner circle who have contracted the disease at the same time. (He previously blamed military and law enforcement personnel giving "hugs and kisses" to his aide, Hope Hicks, for the spread of the disease.)

We have the greatest country in the world. We're going back, we're going back to work, we're going to be out front.

About 13 million Americans are not going back to work yet.

As your leader I had to do that. I knew there's danger to it, but I had to do it. I stood out front, I led. Nobody that's a leader would not do what I did. And I know there's a risk, there's a danger, but that's okay.

As strange as it sounds, Trump appears to be saying that he caught COVID-19 on purpose.

And now I'm better.

And maybe I'm immune, and I don't know. But don't let it dominate your life. Get out there.

Trump is not so much immune as contagious at this stage of the illness. Immunity means the body can fight off re-infection more easily; Trump's body is still fighting the original virus, and likely will be for weeks.

Be careful.

This is good advice.

We have the best medicines in the world, and it all happened very shortly, and they're all getting approved.

Trump is repeating himself here, but again, he received experimental antibody therapy that was not yet approved by the FDA. 

And the vaccines are coming momentarily.

They most certainly are not, but vaccines will not help people who get sick in the meantime. (Trump has gotten confused about the difference between vaccines and medicine before.)

Why should I care about this?

  • It's wrong to give people bad information about something that can kill them.