Like more than 7.2 million of his fellow Americans, President Donald Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus.
We’re all hoping that he — and the rest of those who have contracted the deadly virus — make a swift and full recovery.
More than 200,000 Americans will never recover. They’ve already succumbed to COVID-19.
Nearly 300,000 new cases in the United States were diagnosed in the week ending Thursday, meaning that the death toll will continue to grow. A total of more than 1,800 new deaths of Americans were reported Wednesday and Thursday alone.
Here in Indiana, the pandemic is not relenting. Almost 123,000 Hoosiers have tested positive and more than 3,400 have died. On Thursday, the state had its highest number of positive tests reported in a single day — 1,495.
President Trump tweeted shortly after midnight Thursday that he had tested positive for the virus. Preliminary reports Friday indicated his symptoms were mild, like he had a cold. First lady Melania Trump tested positive, as well.
The president has been skeptical about the danger of the coronavirus since the pandemic reached our shores in February. He’s questioned infectious disease experts and public health directives since the outset, often undercutting scientific perspectives from his own administration.
He’s also flouted the directive to wear breathing masks, appearing in public regularly without one and belittling his campaign opponent, Joe Biden, for consistently wearing a mask, limiting public appearances and scrupulously practicing social distancing.
Because of his age, 74, the president is vulnerable to the virus. Even so, statistically, he’s not likely to suffer serious symptoms.
If and when Trump returns to public engagement in his role as president and picks up the campaign trail, his actions can have an extraordinary impact on whether his supporters take the threat of the coronavirus seriously.
The president could choose to project the attitude that the virus is just what he thought it was — no worse than the common cold or a mild case of the flu. Or he could choose to recognize that the danger of infection is great and that many of those who contract the virus suffer serious illness and, in some cases, death.
That would be a great way for the president to inject good common sense into a year that’s been fraught with crisis after crisis and to reduce the divisiveness of a reelection campaign that is tearing the country apart.