Entertainment And News

Trump Wasn't Worried About My Health — Why Should I Worry About His?

Photo: Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock
Donald Trump

It was the tweet heard ‘round the world. A little over a month before the most important election in American history, President Donald Trump tweeted something no one ever thought they’d read in their lifetime: “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”

While right-wingers, Trump supporters, and conservatives across the nation sent their sympathies and well-wishes to the couple, as someone who’s immunocompromised — someone whose physical and mental health has been carelessly tossed aside by a President who refused to take action, take responsibility, and take a leadership-oriented, unifying approach to containing a virus he knew would ravage a nation — it’s hard for me to muster up any feelings of sympathy for the President and the First Lady. And like so many other Americans during this pandemic, Donald Trump was never worried about my health — why should I worry about his?

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Why should I? Why should anyone have sympathy for a President who has repeatedly pushed misinformation to the public during his televised rallies, or what his administration would call “coronavirus briefings”?

Why should anyone have sympathy for someone who repeatedly told the American people the virus would just disappear, when eight months after the initial surge of COVID-19 hit the United States, it’s still ravaging our nation?

Are we all supposed to suddenly feel bad that after claiming for the greater part of the year that this virus is “a little bit like the flu,” the President has now fallen ill with the very same virus he spent months downplaying?

Where was his sympathy for the families who have suffered irreplaceable losses because of his ineptitude when it comes to leadership? 

You know who’s not available for comments about sympathy? The 200,000+ Americans who have died from COVID-19 while Donald Trump sat back, downplayed the virus, and allowed misinformation to spread.

As someone who’s lived with an autoimmune disease for the past 11 years — I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was a sophomore in college — I’ve personally felt the wrath of Trump’s claim that 99% of coronavirus cases are harmless.

“If you’re chronically ill, just stay inside.” 

“Just because YOU don’t have a great immune system doesn’t mean everyone else should be punished.” 

“Normal, healthy people need to live their lives. Just don’t leave your house.”

I’ve heard it all. The above statements are from strangers, acquaintances, and even family members who think reopening the economy is more important than people’s lives. And like many people who live with chronic autoimmune disorders, people who are terminally ill, and others who have pre-existing conditions, I didn’t choose to live with a disease for the rest of my life, and I dont deserve to be punished because of it, or because of Trump's response to dealing with the pandemic.

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But I chose, and still actively choose, to listen to science, to listen to medical professionals, to wear a mask, and to do everything in my power to protect myself and others from catching this virus.

Why am I required to make sacrifices, like not leaving my house while others — like the President of the United States and his administration — are largely unable to make the sacrifices it takes to help prevent the spread of this virus, like having a clear message to the American people about the importance of wearing a mask in public?

Perhaps it’s because Donald Trump — the so-called leader of our country — has mostly refused to lead by example when it comes to wearing a mask, even mocking Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden for wearing one wherever he goes. “I don’t wear masks like him,” he said of Biden at the first presidential debate on Sept. 29, 2020. “Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from them, and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”

He’s held countless rallies where attendees proudly revel in their anti-mask religion — what Trump says, trumps everything — even science, according to his base, his followers, his supporters, his administration. And now, more and more members of Trump’s inner circle — who regularly do not wear masks and are around each other in close quarters — are testing positive for the coronavirus.

Trump’s positive coronavirus result begs the question: Why is Donald Trump's health more important than mine, and why is his health suddenly more important than the millions of Americans who have endured incessant suffering throughout this pandemic?

Why is Trump’s life more important than the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have died from this virus?

Maybe the President’s positive coronavirus test result will result in a more concerted push to maintain and enhance affordable healthcare. 

Maybe the President’s positive coronavirus test result will show a severely divided nation that this virus doesn’t care what political party you belong to, whether you’re immunocompromised, or whether you’re the epitome of health.

If we don’t take the pandemic seriously, especially now, our country will likely never be the same.

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Olivia Jakiel is an editor and writer who covers celebrity and entertainment news. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her zingers on Twitter