Viewpoints: Lessons On Magical, Fearless Thinking About COVID
Opinion writers express thoughts on President Donald Trump's views after being released from the hospital and other pandemic topics.
The Washington Post:
Covid-19 Is A Fearsome Killer. Trump’s Magical Thinking Will Not Change That.
We wish President Trump and the first lady speedy recovery from the coronavirus. We wish the infected White House staff speedy recovery, and the unknown number of people in this cluster who might have caught the virus over the last week or so, from Cleveland to Duluth to Bedminster to the White House Rose Garden. But every one of them — and the nation as a whole — must reject Mr. Trump’s unconscionable declaration Monday: “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.” This disease is a fearsome killer, and Mr. Trump’s magical thinking will not change that.We had hoped that perhaps once Mr. Trump tested positive, once he was on oxygen and had to be hospitalized, he would be chastened, perhaps gaining a better understanding of the fear and anger across the country at his botched handling of the pandemic. (10/5)
Most Trump Supporters Wouldn't Get The Same Health Care He's Getting For COVID
It was the hottest ticket of the year for conservatives. They were inching toward the dream of a lifetime, having a solid majority on the U.S. Supreme Court. When the invitation came to attend Donald Trump’s announcement of his pick to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, what gun-loving, abortion-hating Republican would turn it down? So about 150 people sat shoulder to shoulder in the White House Rose Garden on Sept. 26, most without masks. They hugged, shook hands, bumped fists, whispered in each other’s ears and cheered the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. It was as if the COVID-19 pandemic was over or never existed at all. (Dahleen Glanton, 10/5)
Access To Medical Oxygen: A Glaring Global Inequity
Since the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic more than six months ago, we have passed many grim milestones — worldwide, there have now been more than 35 million cases and 1 million deaths from the disease. As the virus continues to expand its reach, it is worsening the public health disparities and inequities that advocates have been warning about for decades and making the devastating consequences of inaction harder and harder to ignore. (David Walton and Jim Ansara, 10/6)
Trump's COVID Prognosis – Here's Why I Am So Optimistic
President Trump continues to make progress as he receives treatment for COVID-19. He has a 99 percent survival rate according to the data but in reality it may be higher. That’s because the president is benefiting from the latest state-of-the-art care: a medication that is directly attacking the virus (Remdesavir), another medication that neutralizes the spike protein (Regeneron’s polyclonal antibodies), and a medication that is reducing the inflammation that damages the lungs (dexamethasone). These therapeutics mean the older published case fatality rate of 3.4% for the president’s profile (a male 71-75 years old with one comorbidity) is approximately 80-85% lower today than in March and April from which the 3.4% number was derived. (Martin Makary, 10/5)
The New York Times:
Why Fox News Is Still In A Coronavirus Bubble
Back in the 1950s, the psychologist Leon Festinger came up with cognitive dissonance theory, which can essentially be described as the very human desire to reconcile the irreconcilable. Our brains, he realized, will go to baroque lengths — do magic tricks, even — to preserve the integrity of our worldview, even when the facts inconveniently club us over the head with a two-by-four. Festinger’s most famous case study was of a cult that believed life on Earth would come to an end in a great flood around Christmas of 1954. The waters never came (obviously), but the leader had an explanation: She and her followers had warded off the apocalypse with the unflagging power of their faith. Today, perhaps the best case study of cognitive dissonance theory can be found in the prime-time lineup on Fox News, where Donald Trump’s most dedicated supporters are struggling mightily to make sense of the president’s Covid-19 diagnosis. (Jennifer Senior, 10/5)
The Washington Post:
I Was Afraid Of Covid-19, Mr. President. I’m Not Ashamed Of It.
On Oct. 2, the day President Trump was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for coronavirus treatment, some 840 of his fellow Americans perished from covid-19. By Monday, Oct. 5, I gather, Trump was feeling better. “I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M.” Trump tweeted. “Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!” To hear the president tell it, covid-19 is better than a spa weekend. (Megan McArdle, 10/5)
The Wall Street Journal:
Trump And Covid
All Americans wishing President Donald Trump a speedy recovery received some encouraging news on Monday morning. Meanwhile a mouthpiece for the Chinese communist regime seems to have given up trying to blame Mr. Trump for contracting Covid-19. (James Freeman, 10/5)
A Sick Donald Trump Takes His Own Medicine. How Will That Go?
He wants you to believe that the worst of his infection has passed because he was strong enough to sit at a table and be photographed signing a document. He wants you to believe that he is getting better because he took a ride in a Secret Service SUV. He wants you to believe he’s out of the woods because he’s getting out of the hospital. “Don’t be afraid of Covid,” he wrote in his tweet Monday afternoon. “Don’t let it dominate your life”—an easy thing to say if you’re the recipient of the best (and free) 24-7 health care in the world. He wants you to believe that all is well because he’s “getting great reports from the doctors,” as he said in a Sunday video from Walter Reed. If he’s really getting such great reports from the docs, he must be the first sick person in history to conceal the actual evidence that he’s getting better. (Jack Shafer, 10/5)
Des Moines Register:
Let's Hope Everyone From Trump On Down Takes COVID-19 Seriously Now
He has deemed it less serious than the flu, or on its way out, or treatable with quack remedies. He has contradicted members of the White House COVID-19 task force who didn't share his sunny outlook. His attitude has been adopted by governors of Trump's Republican Party, such as Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. Like him, she has shunned mandates that could make us safer. She at least had the option of requiring tougher measures but refused to take it. And she won't give localities or school districts the option to set their own safety mandates. Now Trump is paying a personal price that we hope won't be nearly as steep as the one more than 207,000 people in this country have paid — their lives. And many Americans must face the risk of getting it without health coverage, flexible work options, living situations or access to testing and protective equipment. (Rekha Basu, 10/2)
The Washington Post:
Americans Showed Trump Compassion. He Repaid Us With Contempt.
Americans of all political stripes wished President Trump well in his battle with covid-19. Now he is repaying our compassion with reckless disregard and callous contempt for the well-being of anybody but himself. Trump, announcing via Twitter on Monday afternoon that he was ending his hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after three days, told Americans that the pandemic is no big deal. “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life,” he wrote. “I feel better than I did 20 years ago!” he added. A more selfish man has never occupied his high office. He received a cutting-edge treatment, monoclonal antibodies, unavailable to virtually all other Americans. He received an antiviral, remdesivir, that is rationed for ordinary Americans. He required oxygen and steroids. (Dana Milbank, 10/5)
The 'Irony Of The Day': Covid-19 At The White House Is A Simple Matter Of Workplace Transmission
President Trump’s news via Twitter early Friday that “@FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19” came as a surprise and shock to some, but was a just-a-matter-of-time event for others. I reached out to experts around the U.S. for their perspectives on Covid-19 transmission at the White House, caring for celebrity patients, and caring for geriatric patients with Covid-19. (Patrick Skerrett, 10/5)
Trump Puts Secret Service Agents At Risk During Ride, But Relax
As President Donald Trump continues to battle COVID-19, a number of questions have come up about the accuracy of health updates coming from his medical team and the decision to allow him to take a Sunday SUV ride to wave at supporters outside Walter Reed Medical Center. As a self-appointed member of President Trump’s nationwide team of citizen-physicians, I want to assure Americans the president is doing unbelievably fantastic and everything you’re hearing about him is accurate. First, let me share my credentials. I am an almost-graduate of the Central Florida Institute of Therapeutic Clown Medicine and Exotic Dancing and a member in good standing of the Coalition of Ombudsmen Validating Information about Donald, or COVID. (Rex Huppke, 10/5)