Yesterday, shortly after releasing a video in which he declared, “I get it,” Pres. Donald Trump left his Walter Reed hospital room and commandeered his personal vehicle to drive past his fans gathered outside. Clearly, he doesn’t get it. Never has, likely never will.
Dr. James P. Phillips, one of Trump’s attending physicians, observed:
“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.”
Now, today, Trump is reportedly insisting on returning to the White House. Apparently he thinks the worst is over and that by sheer will he has defeated a virus that’s killed more than 200,000 Americans. We shall see. Maybe the virus will knock him down again and force a return to the hospital (assuming he leaves there today). If it doesn’t, we’ll never hear the end of it. “See, I told you. Kung flu is no big deal.”
Meanwhile, the president’s activities before his diagnosis exposed and infected many of those around him. Following his example and/or insistence, most of them weren’t routinely wearing masks or observing social distancing. That’s not commendable; that’s stupid.
Sadly, even the doctors at Walter Reed sold their souls to Trump and misrepresented his condition during their briefings. They presented a rosier picture of the president’s condition than was true. In effect, they lied for him. So doctors can’t be trusted anymore? Doesn’t anyone say “no” to the man? So many people are sacrificing their health, safety, and professional reputations rather than stand up to him. Why? What has he done for them? Was an invitation to the Rose Garden worth the risk?
A few days on a ventilator might prove to the president — and his supporters — that he isn’t immortal after all. But don’t bet on it.
Note: CNN pointed out this afternoon that Walter Reed doctors are US Navy personnel, making them subservient to Trump, their commander-in-chief.