The recent news that President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19 has generated a slew of responses from politicians, members of the media, as well as celebrities and other influencers. Many, but not all, have shown sympathy for the president and first lady.
President Trump, who is suffering from mild symptoms of COVID, is still working and has not transferred presidential power or authority to Vice-President Michael Pence. “What we have right now is a president in quarantine, but not a president incapacitated, so he’s fully capable of communicating, of directing government, of speaking and engaging with his staff and Cabinet members and the rest,” said Thomas Shannon, a former senior State Department official. “I think right now we’re OK.” The president is currently being treated with an experimental drug from the company Regeneron as a “precautionary measure,” according to White House physician Dr. Sean P. Conley. The First Lady is said to be suffering only from a mild cough and a headache.
What effect will this news have on our nation’s security and how will it impact the election, especially in regards to rogue nations who may try to interfere with the election? Joint Staff spokesperson Col. Dave Butler stated on Friday that “the U.S. military stands ready to defend our country and its citizens. There’s no change to the readiness or capability of our armed forces.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Acting Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote on Friday that “any adversary who views news of @POTUS testing positive as an opportunity to test the United States would be making a grave mistake.”
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who spent over 30 minutes speaking with the president via telephone on Saturday, said, “I was very happy to hear his voice sounding the same as I’ve known it for 30 years. He gave me a lot of notes to give to the campaign… I had to kind of get him off the phone so he went back and rested.”
While many Democrats were sympathetic towards the president and first lady, others were not so kind. “Trump is now in the position of becoming exhibit No. 1 for the failure of his leadership on coronavirus, and he runs the risk that his supporters will feel misled by his dismissiveness of the virus and the need for precautions,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster.
On Friday morning, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told MSNBC, “Going into crowds unmasked and all the rest was sort of a brazen invitation for something like this to happen, sad that it did, but nonetheless, hopeful that it will be a transition to a saner approach to what this virus is all about.”
Documentary film director Michael Moore thinks it’s even possible that the president might even be lying about being infected with COVID-19. Moore posted recently on Facebook that “Democrats, liberals, the media and others have always been wrong to simply treat him as a buffoon and a dummy and a jackass. Yes, he is all those things. But he’s also canny. He’s clever. He outfoxed Comey. He outfoxed Mueller. He outfoxed 20 Republicans in the GOP primary and then did the same to the Democrats, winning the White House despite receiving fewer votes than his opponent. He’s an evil genius and I raise the possibility of him lying about having COVID-19 to prepare us and counteract his game. He knows being sick tends to gain one sympathy. He’s not above weaponizing this. He’s losing the election. And he knows it. It’s not 2016. He was hated in 2016, but he’s hated even more now. Millions of Americans are ON FIRE and on the verge of serving him up a major league ass-whooping and a record landslide defeat. So he needs — badly — to totally change the conversation about this campaign. And he just has.”