Opinion: President Trump proves to be inconsiderate while recovering from COVID-19

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In the early morning hours of Oct. 2, President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that he and First Lady Melania tested positive for COVID-19. He could have used his diagnosis to make clear the seriousness of the virus. Instead, he decided to downplay the pandemic that, as of Oct. 10, has claimed over 213,000 lives in the U.S., according to the CDC.

According to Science Magazine, the president was hospitalized on Oct. 3 at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and given a strong drug cocktail to combat the symptoms of COVID-19. One of the drugs in this treatment was dexamethasone, a strong steroid that is used in severe COVID-19 cases.

On Oct 4, Trump left the hospital to go on a car ride, despite still being hospitalized. A man, who is supposed to be the leader of the U.S., and was infected with a deadly virus, went on a joyride, endangering Secret Service members who were in the same vehicle as him.

Photos from the ill-advised event showed him waving to supporters. While he was wearing a mask, he was still in a tightly-enclosed space with several other people.

In one of his many appalling tweets, Trump told Americans, “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.” In the same tweet, he said he felt better than he did “20 years ago.”

Yet, when he arrived back at the White House on Oct. 5, after being released from the hospital early, he appeared to have a hard time breathing. In an awkward photo op, Trump removed his mask and stood on a White House balcony.

In the footage, he was seen gritting his teeth, adjusting his stance several times and he was clearly having a very difficult time getting a breath in. 

This was not indicative of a person who was feeling “really good.” On Oct. 2, just three days before this tweet, he was reportedly placed on supplemental oxygen while still at the White House.

Adding to the chaos, Trump was not the only high-ranking politician to contract COVID-19 at this time. According to CNN, several people who attended the nomination ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett on Sept. 26 tested positive for the virus in the days after the event.

This list includes former counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, current Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, among others. Christie in particular was hospitalized and was released on Oct. 10.

Photos from the event show that hardly anyone was wearing a mask. While outdoor events are preferable to indoor ones with regard to reducing the spread of COVID-19, it was simply irresponsible to have had people sitting so close together and not wearing masks.

Furthermore, it shows the president’s lack of regard for human health and life. Trump is so focused on his fragile ego that he is willing to put even those closest to him in grave danger from this deadly virus.

Trump’s refusal to acknowledge science has put the country in peril, and he has now added himself to the list of millions of people in this country who have contracted COVID-19.

Telling Americans to not “be afraid” of COVID-19 is beyond insensitive to those who have had the virus, have nearly died or have died from complications of it. It also sends a cruel message to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives as a result of this illness.

However, Trump cannot say that he is ill-informed about this virus and its effects. His ignorance is a choice that he has made and continues to make, as evidenced by his COVID-19 diagnosis. He has no excuse. He could have followed the advice of scientists but chose not to. And as a result, COVID-19 is still thriving in the U.S.

Follow Ashley on Twitter @ashleyness2000.