Sunday, January 16

The president’s contempt for precautions against Covid

Correspondent in New York



«I have learned a lot about covid. I’ve done it by actually going to school, “he said. Donald Trump in a video shared on Sunday afternoon on social networks with his followers. The US president was referring to his stay at the Walter Reed hospital in Washington, where he is recovering from Covid-19 that was diagnosed last Friday. This is the real school. And I understand it, ”he said about the virus. Surprisingly, right afterwards, he would climb into an armored vehicle, accompanied by Secret Service agents, and stroll in front of the supporters who are gathering outside the hospital. Trump, protected with a mask, waved and applauded his fans. The next day, on Monday afternoon, I was leaving the hospital to continue your recovery in the White House. She again showed the whole of the United States, watching the television screen, what she had learned these days and took off her mask in the presidential residence to pose for photographers.

Criticisms of Trump’s ‘paseo’ were immediate and fierce. The president of the United States skipped the quarantine and got into a car with companions to give an image of strength and, of course, capture the attention of the media. «All the people who are in the vehicle on that completely unnecessary presidential ride they now have to serve a 14-day quarantine“Dr. James Phillips, who works at the same hospital where Trump is recovering, reacted on Twitter. They could get sick. They could die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives in danger by theater. It’s crazy.

«That should never have happened“An unidentified member of the Secret Service who works for the presidential family told CNN. This summer, several members of this security body have tested positive for covid after accompanying the president at rallies where the usual requirements on covid were not met. In his video, Trump also said that he had visited convalescent soldiers and emergency personnel who are being treated at the hospital – a military facility – although there are no details on what security was maintained during those visits or what format they took.

Directives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US government’s medical authority, state that only covid patients should be moved to ‘essential medical procedures». Judd Deere, a spokesman for the White House, defended that the walk was a “last minute” decision, which had the approval of the medical team and for which “appropriate security measures” were taken, although he did not specify which ones.

Beyond the safety of the agents, medical personnel and the rest of Trump’s companions, the episode symbolizes the contempt of Trump, of the high officials of the White House and of his campaign for the precautionary measures that his very Administration recommends . The most obvious consequence is the wave of infections that the president’s inner circle suffers, which yesterday added several new positives. The most relevant, that of Kayleigh McEnany, Chief of Press for the White House.

Trump, eager to put aside the bill for the pandemic – 210,000 deaths and millions of jobs destroyed in the US – has acted as if it did not matter. As soon as the lifting of restrictions began in June, he organized a massive rally in a closed place in Tulsa, Oklahoma. One of the attendees, the former presidential candidate Herman Caine, died weeks later from covid. After spending the summer with hardly any rallies, Trump got them back after the August convention. They have been events with thousands of people, sometimes against local regulations on concentration of people, where neither a mask nor personal distance has been required. The last one was in Duluth (Minnesota) last Wednesday night and by then Trump could have already been infected. Several senior Republican officials have been in quarantine since then and local authorities have asked everyone who attended the event to isolate themselves at home.

Trump has also refused to wear the mask despite his administration recommending it since early April. It took him months to put it on in public and he has hardly been seen wearing it. At the same time, many of their acts do not require the garment or keep a distance. Last Tuesday, in the debate between candidates, the president’s children, in the front line of the public, skipped the obligation to wear a mask. Tom Bossert, who was Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security, assured on Twitter that “unfortunately, the president and the senior officials around him have violated the five fundamental rules” against the pandemic, in reference to avoiding large concentrations of people, wearing a mask , keep your distance, isolate yourself if you are sick and quarantine if you have been in contact with someone infected.

Trump has always defended that he and everyone around him is subjected to frequent tests. But it has been shown that this is not enough. At least it was not on Saturday, September 26, in the rose garden of the White House, at the presentation of the nominee by Trump to the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, from where much of the wave of infections that Trump’s inner circle lives.

So far, they have tested positive, in addition to McEnany, the first lady, Melania Trump; the campaign manager, Bill Stepien; three close advisers – Hope Hicks, Kellyanne Conway and Chris Christie – a direct aide to the president, Nick Luna; Ronna McDaniel, president of the Republican Party, three Republican senators and several middle White House officials.

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