November 23, 2020

Trump’s inconsistent messaging on the virus means more American discontent

If anything, this COVID scandal has left the president more disconnected from the American people more so than ever before. 

Saturday Night Live Weekend Update host Colin Jost compared Trump having COVID-19 to a “free giveaway prize” on the campaign trail. Personally, I appreciated the joke seeing as Trump has taken a lesson from Oprah, but instead of cool prizes we get a virus and a possible chance at death. Maybe COVID has led me to deal with our mortality through humor, or maybe it’s a coping mechanism for the storm we are in now politically. Either way, as the campaign rages forward with an unclear diagnosis of the president, I find myself wanting to laugh and cry at the same time. (See mom I told you I could multitask!)

There has been a multitude of unclear messaging coming from the White House on Trump’s diagnosis. First, Trump says he is fine. Then, he goes to the hospital. While at the hospital he greeted his supporters in a car exposing three other secret service men. After that, Twitter gets a sketchy video of Trump saying he is fine and it is easy to defeat the virus (keep in mind as he said this as he had not defeated the virus). Then, a video surfaces of Trump appearing to struggle with breathing. 

Later, First Lady Melania Trump came out with a statement claiming her and her son, Barron Trump, tested negative while mentioning nothing of her husband’s diagnosis. Meanwhile, Trump refused to debate remotely and instead held a town hall where he interacted with supporters, still unclear about whether or not he still had COVID. Fast forward to now when just this week a rapid test was unable to detect if Trump still had the virus. 

The president’s physicians say that he is no longer contagious, which would be fantastic because that means we found a way to test if someone is contagious or not. However, there is no test known that can detect if someone is still contagious after getting the virus. Thus this response from the White House is puzzling everyone on the outside. 

Not to mention, Trump has denounced warnings from experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, so the physicians he deems “acceptable” are hard to take seriously. Think about it, if Trump does not take pandemic experts’ word on the virus, then who does he deem acceptable to have looking at his own health? It is a question worth pondering as he continues to try doing the most in the campaign while there is still a chance he still has the virus. 

It is clear that despite obtaining the virus himself, he does not really care much about the pandemic. If he did he would have stayed in his hotel room at the hospital and not put more people at risk by entering a car and exposing 3 other people. Yes, I said hotel room and it is not a typo. 

Meanwhile, literally no one is sure if Trump does not have the virus. Americans are left with more questions than answers, and during election season that is never good for a sit-in president. The people like to be aware of what’s going on and in election season that is detrimental. The next debate is set to take place in person with Trump agreeing to a COVID test before the debate. Hopefully, Trump won’t make a fashionably late appearance and actually makes time to get the test done.

Overall, with the lack of care from the president it does seem as if this is one big COVID-19 giveaway, as if Trump getting the virus means it is all of a sudden everyone else has the same accessibility to expensive treatment. If anything, this COVID scandal has left the president more disconnected from the American people more so than ever before. 

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