News/Op-Ed: President Trump And First Lady Test Positive For Covid-19, Former V.P. Biden Tests Negative
By Joshua Hernandez, Editor-In-Chief
Just two days after the first presidential debate in Cleveland, and only one day after a campaign rally in Duluth, Minnesota, President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, announced on Twitter late Thursday night that they both tested positive for COVID-19, were quarantined and beginning their process of recovery.
The bombshell announcement comes merely hours after the announcement that one of the President’s top aides – Hope Hicks – tested positive for COVID-19 and had been exposed to the President numerous times, as she accompanied he and his team on Air Force One numerous times throughout the week.
Per usual for President Trump and his administration, the fundraising event in Minnesota – while outdoors – featured no social distancing, with the President failing to inform the crowd that he had been exposed to the COVID-19 positive Hicks.
After criticizing Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden at the debate on Tuesday for his consistent mask wearing as well as his socially distanced and virtual campaign events, the President has now contracted the same virus he’s been “downplaying,” according to interview recordings by journalist Bob Woodward, since its initial onset.
On Friday, former Vice President Joe Biden stated on Twitter that he and his wife, former Second Lady Jill Biden, tested negative for COVID-19, while continuing to champion the same trust in science during the pandemic that has not been proactively vocalized by the President’s reelection campaign.
Throughout the year 2020, President Trump and his administration have remained consistent in their flagrant refusals to wear masks publicly, hosting indoor and outdoor campaign events with little to no social distancing and calling for cities to reopen the economy and scale back on restrictions brought upon by the pandemic. Most recently senior Trump officials were the only one’s in Tuesday night’s debate hall at the Cleveland Clinic to ignore mask wearing guidelines. Unlike some of the President’s family and closest advisers, who arrived at the debate without masks, First Lady Melania Trump was seen wearing a mask entering the debate hall, yet took it off after taking her seat.
Vice President Mike Pence tested negative for the virus on Friday morning and is still in good health. Furthermore, Amy Coney Barrett, the Supreme Court Nominee put forward by Trump to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has also tested negative for the virus.
In just one month, the American people will head to polling locations and cast their ballots on Election Day. Over a million roughly have already voted. Heading into the final stretch of campaigning for President Trump and former Vice President Biden, it’s a disastrous development for a Trump Campaign that is attempting to weather low approval ratings and slipping poll numbers. Not to mention that there are two more debates coming up – one, as of now, scheduled on President Trump’s final day of quarantine.
On Friday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows continued to emphasize the fact that President Trump was still handling business as usual while recuperating from the virus at the White House. Originally, the President’s staff thought he’d be able to recover from the West Wing, but after experiencing mild symptoms Friday, President Trump was checked into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He will remain there a few days, according to administration officials.
Meadows also admitted that the President and his staff knew about Hicks’ positive test – as well as knowing they were exposed to her and could potentially have the virus. Nonetheless, the administration chose to move forward with a Thursday fundraising event in New Jersey as well as press briefings.
All year long, the President and his administration have been attempting to quell concerns among the American people by baselessly emphasizing that the peak of the pandemic was already behind them. Nonetheless, in the best case scenario, the President, who is at higher risk of struggling more with the virus due to his age and clinical obesity, can recover and not be seriously affected by it. But the short-term is a worst case scenario for the President, temporarily halting campaign events and putting the status of the October 15 second presidential debate in Miami in jeopardy.