Corona infects the White House

Nic Fox, Staff Writer

The announcement that President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus sent shockwaves throughout the world. The confusion around when the President contracted the virus and from whom filled news stories. It is assumed that he contracted it from Hope Hicks, who was diagnosed on Thursday, October 1. Over 21 people who were around the President have since tested positive. Most of those people attended an event at the White House marking the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The event was held inside the White House Rose Garden where there was no social distancing and very few masks worn. The night after the event, the White House held another event honoring the military’s Gold Star Families. These events have been deemed “superspreaders” by the press.

President Trump was hospitalized over the weekend of October 2-5. He was given an eight gram dose of the antibody cocktail from Regeneron which is in late Stage 4 clinical trials and not available to the public. He was also given a five-day course of Remdesivir which was authorized for emergency use by the Federal Drug Administration and a dose of Dexamethasone, a steroid usually reserved for serious breathing difficulties resulting from Covid. The White House tried to keep the news upbeat and downplay any seriousness, but Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was caught on camera stating that the President’s oxygen levels dropped on Friday resulting in his hospitalization and that the physicians were “very concerned” and that the “next forty-eight hours would be critical.”  On Sunday, October 4, White House physician Sean Conley admitted that he was trying to keep things upbeat.

“I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that, the team, that the President through this course of illness has had, “ Conley said. “I didn’t want to give any information that would steer the course of this illness in another direction and in doing so, it came off that we were trying to hide something which wasn’t necessarily true.” 

On Sunday evening, President Trump left the hospital in a sealed SUV along with Secret Service agents in protective gear to make a visit to his supporters that had gathered outside the hospital. This move was widely criticized as being unnecessary and putting his agents at risk. The President also released a video before the visit stating that he learned a lot about Covid during his hospitalization. 

“I learned a lot about Covid. I learned it by really going to school. This is real school, not the let’s-read-the-books-school, and I get it and I understand it,” Trump said. 

Trump was released from the hospital at 6:30 pm ET on Monday, October 5.  His doctors said he had met the discharge criteria.

“Though he may not be entirely out of the woods yet, the team and I agree that all our evaluations and, most importantly, his clinical status support the President’s safe return to the White House where he will be surrounded by world-class medical care twenty-four seven,” Conley said. 

President Trump tweeted earlier on Monday, “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.” 

The many people who have lost loved ones and are still fighting the long-term effects of Covid disagree with this statement. President Trump had access to medication that the public does not have and was given a steroid to help his breathing that is usually reserved for those who are already on a ventilator.

Since his return to the White House, the President has not changed his behavior regarding masks and large crowds. On Saturday, October 10, the White House hosted a peaceful protest for law and order, and on Monday, October 12, the President hosted a rally in Sanford, FL. At both events, attendees were encouraged but not required to abide by the CDC recommendations of wearing masks and social distancing.