The sad irony of it all


For someone who has downplayed the virus and used it as a tool for political division, it is no wonder President Donald Trump tested positive.

At midnight on Thursday, I was awakened from a message in my friend group chat. “TRUMP HAS COVID,” my friend exclaimed. All of a sudden my Twitter feed was flooded with comments about President Donald Trump getting COVID-19. After fact checking, I came to realize we are in a historic moment; the president of the United States has the coronavirus.

This piece of breaking news came two days after the presidential debate, ironically when Trump made fun of Joe Biden for wearing masks too much. Biden tested negative, offering up a question of when Trump initially got the virus. People who see the president have to get tested before meetings. However, Trump arrived late to the debate and was not able to get tested according to the debate moderator, Chris Wallace.

There is a deep irony that runs through this situation. The fact Trump did not act when he knew COVID-19 was dangerous and placed the economy above the virus resulted in over 200,000 deaths. The fact Trump has failed in his response to the coronavirus has been a main election point for Joe Biden.

Not too long ago, pictures surfaced from Trump campaign rallies with audiences not wearing masks. For someone who has downplayed the virus and used it as a tool for political division, it is no wonder he tested positive.

After he got diagnosed, Trump and the first lady Melania Trump went to Walter Reed Hospital where they received experimental care from steroids and physicians. During his stay, he decided to greet the people waiting outside for him while in a car – exposing three secret service agents. It is quite interesting to see that even after a positive test, he still doesn’t care about others getting it.

I found a lot of frustration when people asked for sympathy with Trump. I find it particularly insulting to brown and Black folks, considering they were hit the hardest during the pandemic. As a daughter of an immigrant woman, I cannot sympathize with the president. Due to his mishandling of the virus and lack of care,  poor communities, immigrants and Black folks were hit incredibly hard economically. He doesn’t care about the virus, and that is why he got it.

He was released Monday, yet his physicians are very cautious about his health. Upon release, he tweeted a video telling Americans to “not let the virus dominate them” and that because he went through treatment at Walter Reed, he knows our medical facilities can handle the virus.

First off, what kind of statement is that to make to Americans who have had loved ones die from this virus? This statement is minimizing and gaslighting the trauma of thousands of Americans. He is a billionaire, so he has access to elite healthcare to get him through the virus whereas the average American does not have access to those kinds of facilities.

His response is predictable, based on Republicans like Rand Paul who got the virus then minimized it afterward and still advocated for economy reopenings. Privilege is what will get him better, and Americans must think about that as he moves toward recovery. He has the privilege to healthcare that thousands of Americans don’t, and we must think about that as he tells us it’s not a big deal.

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Kieron Kessler
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