Recently COVID-19 hit a terrifying milestone: one million deaths worldwide. Despite the immense detrimental impact of the virus on all aspects of life, limited not only to economic and physical damage, President Donald Trump has continued to minimize its severity to the American people and the world. However, after President Trump tested positive for COVID on October 1st, his treatment was noticeably different from the Americans he downplayed the virus to, of whom it is his duty to protect and inform.
President Trump was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Medical Center just one day after receiving a positive test result despite those close to him, including White House physician Dr. Sean Conley, adamantly stating that the President only suffered mild symptoms. However, even before admittance, President Trump was receiving treatment far better than nearly all other coronavirus patients. Soon after his diagnosis, he received an experimental antibody therapy treatment from the company Regeneron that may aid in the reduction of coronavirus levels. The treatment, however, has not been given emergency use authorization by the FDA, and was only given to President Trump after his doctors submitted a “compassionate use request” to the company. Additionally, the President received remdesivir and dexamethasone at the hospital, the former of which is a drug meant to speed COVID recovery that has yet to receive FDA approval but has been given emergency use authorization for the Chief of State. The latter is actually designed to reduce inflammation but also suppresses the immune system, so it is only recommended to those suffering from severe coronavirus symptoms. Finally, the Monday following his admittance, President Trump was sent home to complete his treatments under the care of White House doctors. Before leaving, he stated to the nation via a tweet: “Don’t be afraid of COVID. Don’t let it dominate your life”. What the President neglected to mention was the fact that his lack of fear was solely due to his privileged status.
From the very start of his bout with coronavirus, President Trump’s experience differed dramatically from the average patient. First of all, he undoubtedly has the most plentiful and readily accessible testing in the nation. While most Americans struggle to obtain COVID tests, President Trump’s press secretary labeled him “the most tested man in America”, allowing him to be swiftly diagnosed and treated while others perish of coronavirus without ever even being tested. In addition, his swift hospitalization is a privilege most Americans suffering from COVID only dream of. Although his staff insists that he only suffered mild symptoms, he still received hospital treatment almost immediately after his diagnosis, and also had a team of doctors to care for him in the White House once he returned home. Meanwhile, hospitals across the country can barely find rooms for those with extreme COVID conditions, and Americans with mild symptoms (which President Trump allegedly had) are told to stay home. Above all, the drug treatment provided to the President is unimaginable for any other COVID patient worldwide. The experimental antibody treatment he received from Regeneron is not available to anyone at the moment and does not even have FDA approval for emergency use, yet was provided to him because of his status as the Chief of State. While it is inarguable that the health of the President is undoubtedly of utmost concern, his unequal treatment negates any claims he makes when referencing his own experience, because no American will receive the same high-end care. His ignorance regarding the plight of the nation he swore to protect has only been exacerbated by his own experience with the virus that plagues it.
President Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the severity of the coronavirus injured the nation enough on its own, but his astonishing ignorance, even after contracting the virus himself, may cause irreparable damage. In a critical moment of American history, where the nation suffers from a crisis unlike any seen in decades, our leader is failing to lead.