Wednesday, October 7, 2020

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What did Donald Trump do today?

He called COVID-19 a "blessing from God."

In a five-minute video released today, Trump called his serious bout with COVID-19 a "blessing from God." He also proclaimed himself "cured."

It's possible Trump's condition will continue to improve without any further setbacks, but at this stage—no more than a week into the infection, if his own timeline is to be believed—he is contagious, not cured. Over the objections of his own staff, Trump broke quarantine and made his way into the Oval Office this afternoon for a short time. He then immediately alerted the media that he had done so. 

Occasionally breathless and heavily made up, Trump claimed credit for the idea of administering an antibody cocktail in early clinical trials to himself. He also promised the treatment—which won't be available for widespread use for years, if it proves safe and effective—would be free, although needless to say he provided no details.

Specifically, Trump said, "I want everyone to be given the same treatment as your president." Trump receives free taxpayer-funded health care, including the home nursing care and physician visits he's gotten since returning from the hospital. But where other people are concerned, he's generally opposed to socialized medicine.

More than 216,000 Americans are known to have died from the "blessing" that hospitalized Trump.

Why does this matter?

  • Even by Trump's standards, this was a bizarre thing to say.
  • Health care is a fundamental right that presidents should be working to bring to all Americans even if it's for illnesses they haven't personally contracted.
  • Trying this hard to look "strong" has the opposite effect.