President Donald Trump made a dramatic return to the White House on Monday night after claiming that his treatment for COVID-19 is complete. His return immediately ignited a new controversy by declaring that ‘despite his illness the nation should not fear the virus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans’; and then he entered the White House without a protective mask.
Trump’s message alarmed infectious disease experts and said that the president’s own illness had not caused him to rethink his disdainful attitude toward the disease, which has also infected the first lady and several White House aides. Landing at the White House on Marine One, Trump gingerly climbed the South Portico steps, removed his mask and declared, “I feel good.” He entered the White House, where aides were visible moving about the Blue Room, without wearing a face covering.
“Don’t be afraid of it,” Trump said. “You’re going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment, we have the best medicines.” His remarks were strong, but he was taking deeper breaths than usual as he delivered them. To this doctors replied: “We have to be realistic in this: COVID is a complete threat to the American population”. “Most of the people aren’t so lucky as the president”.
Trump’s experience with the disease has been dramatically different from most Americans, who do not have access to the same kind of monitoring and care. While most must cope with their symptoms, and fear of whether they’ll take a turn for the worse, at home and alone, Trump has been staying in the presidential suite of one of the nation’s best hospitals and has been given experimental drugs not readily available to the public. He returns to the White House where there is a team of doctors on call with 24-hour monitoring.