After the announcement that President Donald Trump had tested positive for Coronavirus after allegedly being infected by his senior advisor, Hope Hicks with whom he is in constant contact with the growing list of positive cases within the White House cluster continues to increase.Trump’s Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany is the latest White House Staffer who  confirmed on Monday that she returned a positive diagnosis. ‘After testing negative consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms.’  she confirmed. McEnany joins a growing band of White House staff who have tested positive, including First Lady Melania Trump, Trump campaign manager Bill Steplen, former advisor, Kellyanne Conway, Republican National Committee Chairwoman, Roma McDaniel, Senator Mike Lee, Senator Thom Tillis, Senator Ron Johnson, University of Notre Dame President John Jenkins, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, assistant press secretary Chad Gilmartin, the Presidents bodyman Nick Luna and three White House reporters. The cluster of cases has been linked to a recent event held in the White House’s Rose Garden where the announcement to replace former judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court was made by Trump. After testing negative for Coronavirus on entry to the gathering guests were informed they could remove face coverings and social distancing was not enforced. Dr. Alan Wells from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre has explained that a negative test less than seven days after exposure is ‘a very, very poor indicator of whether you have the virus on board… that is why, if you have had a credible exposure, you should wear a mask and you should self-quarantine.’ he said. Although the President and those around him are consistently tested for the virus this outbreak has shown that the most vigorous testing systems can fail creating havoc when one of the world’s most powerful leaders contracts the disease which has so far killed over a million people worldwide. 


Trump has refused to allow the risk of contracting the Coronavirus to subdue his hectic round of Presidential duties and campaigning for the upcoming November, 3rd Presidential election. Unlike Joe Biden who is rarely seen and when he is dutifully wearing a mask and adhering to the advice of practicing social distancing, Trump seems to be everywhere and has rarely been seen donning a mask while often mocking his opponent for always wearing one. After being diagnosed with the potentially killer virus Trump explained his reasons for not staying at the White House and refusing to be holed up until the Coronavirus Pandemic was over. ‘I just didn’t want to stay in the White House, I was given that alternative. Stay in the White House, lock yourself in, don’t ever leave. Don’t even go to the Oval Office, just stay upstairs and enjoy it. Don’t see people, don’t talk to people and just be done with it. And I can’t do that, I had to be out front,’ he said. He went on to explain his reasons why ‘this is America, this is the greatest country in the world, this is the most powerful country in the world. I can’t be locked up in a room upstairs and totally safe, and just say, ‘Hey whatever happens, happens. I just can’t do that. As a leader you have to confront problems.’ This dogged determination to lead has no doubt played a part in Trump’s turnaround recovery time. Although he is privy to the most advanced treatments on hand his incredible desire to jump back into the game has  made the portrayal of his COVID-19 experience seem like the equivalent of a pesky cold.


As well as receiving a dose of antibody treatments designed to strengthen the immune system and a five day course of Remdesivir a promising drug which has been shown to be effective in early diagnosis of COVID-19, the President has also been prescribed the powerful steroid Dexamethasone. Dexamethasone is a medicine that reduces inflammation by mimicking anti-inflammatory hormones produced in the body. It works by dampening down the body’s immune system. Coronavirus infection can trigger inflammation as the body fights it, however sometimes the immune system can go into overdrive and this reaction can prove fatal. Dexamethasone calms this effect. The disclosure that Trump was taking Dexamethasone made many question that his condition must be more serious than is being reported. In its implementation for those that are afflicted with the virus it is deemed suitable for people who are already in hospital and receiving oxygen or mechanical ventilation. The drug generally does not function well when given to those suffering milder symptoms because the suppression of their immune systems at this time is deemed not helpful and possibly damaging. As with most drugs there are side effects which appear very limited when given in the treatment of Coronavirus because of the relatively low dose which is required. Trump’s medical team did not reveal that Trump’s condition was considered serious and advised that he was given the steroid Dexamethasone because his blood oxygen levels had dipped. Dr Brian Garibaldi who is one of the medical team said that the medication was dispensed in response to ‘transient low oxygen levels,’ Stanford University’s Michele Dauber made her opinion of Trump being on Dexamethasone go viral when she tweeted. ‘I was treated with Dexamethasone following brain surgery. It is (as my team told me) a drug that seriously messes with your mind. It is a bad drug. I could not wait to get off it. Unfortunately you have to wean off which takes time. Trump is incapacitated.’…. ‘I couldn’t be President of my cat when I was on Dexamethasone. He should not be exercising the powers of the Office on that drug. We are lucky if he doesn’t start a war.’ However not everyone agreed with Dauber’s assessment of Dexamethasone and called her comments irresponsible. ‘Or maybe, hear me out, you’d also just had BRAIN SURGERY’ wrote conservative podcast host, Lyndsey Fifield. Jessica Houseman, reporter with the left-wing ProPublica website, also voiced her criticism. ‘No this is incorrect.’ she said. Dexamethasone is a standard drug that you have probably taken and then gone right to work. Let’s not conflate the impact of a basic drug after brain surgery to the same drug used on a virus. This type of exaggerating is not helpful.’ 


More drama followed Trump when he was  accused of putting lives at risk when he briefly left the hospital where he was being treated for Coronavirus and conducted a drive by from his motorcade and waved at loyal supporters, some of whom had been gathered since his admission outside of Walter Military Hospital. After the short lap the President was berated for his actions. ‘The Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack.’ tweeted Dr. James Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed. ‘The risk of COVID-19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service.’  Yashar Ali, a journalist and former Hilary Clinton campaign staffer shared what he claimed was a text message he had received from a former Secret Service agent. ‘I am beside myself.,’ the message allegedly said. ‘He is willfully disregarding the health and safety of the agents around him, they have no choice as they will carry out their mission but if this is not a clear indication that he could give not give two s**ts about their health and safety then I do not know what is.’  Hitting back at the criticism White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said. ‘Appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the President and all those supporting it, including PPE… the movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.’ Numerous conservative commentators also dismissed the outpouring of outrage and defended the car ride. ‘It’s really something to behold watching the media mask their raging anger at Trump recovering from COVID by pretending to care about his Secret Service staff.’ tweeted Daily Wire contributor Harry Khachatrian backed up by Greg Price from the Daily Caller who wrote ‘What they’re really mad at is how the car ride just proved all of their anonymous sources wrong,’ while Drew Holden from the Washington Examiner said, ‘If it were Obama leaving his hospital room, we’d be getting fawning coverage from the media about how the President’s bravery was a heroic inspiration for a nation brought to its knees by a deadly pandemic.’ Certainly Trumps loyal fans were thrilled at the President’s acknowledgement of their support and screamed out their love for the man they believe ‘Will make America great again.’ Trump himself addressed the Media barrage of contempt,  ‘It is reported that the Media is upset, because I got into a secure vehicle to say thank you to the many fans and supporters who were standing outside of the hospital for many hours, and even days, to pay their respect to their President. If I didn’t do it, Media would say RUDE!!’ he countered.


President Trump although being conceived at risk enough to be transported to hospital seems to have made a seemingly remarkably quick recovery although his doctors continue to confirm that the next few days will be crucial to ensure that no further symptoms develop. Trump has shared that he now feels he has an intimate understanding of COVID-19 since being infected. ‘I get it.’ he said. He later went on to state, ‘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.’ Some found his omittance in acknowledging the over 210,000 Americans who have died from the virus and many more who are suffering serious and long lasting symptoms from its effects to be insulting. Others have pointed out that the majority of people that fall ill with Coronavirus are not as the President is privy to the world class line of treatments that can aid in a recovery and reduction of long term side effects. However the other point of view is that if these new medications which Trump has been able to access which are still classed as ‘experimental’ despite their promising results have helped him to beat the virus this could pave the way for them to be potentially universally used as a front line treatment for everyone. Trump has consistently been an enthusiastic cheerleader for the development and use of these new line medications against Coronavirus and now it appears he has personally seen how their effects have helped him as he says ‘to feel better than I did 20 years ago.’ Whether this is true or not and whether or not he will remain asymptomatic in the coming days is yet to be seen. What is clear is that Trump is desperate to get back to his role of leading the United States and a Coronavirus hospital stay was not on his list of plans. If Trump does manage in such a short time to return to full health and remain there he could turn into a symbol of hope and inspiration to his fellow americans, however if he succumbs to a relapse after his premature hospital discharge his facade as the eternal warrior could fade and possibly along with it his hopes of reelection.

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