By Uche Nwosu
The shocking news that the United States President, Donald trump and his wife, the American First Lady, Melania Trump have tested positive to Coronavirus is intriguing and shocking to say the least. Trump, it is known, has refused to recognize the use of facemask as a symbol for self protection. Instead, he chose to conduct his daily business without adequate protection.
It should be noted that the US President had attended the last Tuesday’s presidential debate without protecting himself, even as his challenger, Democratic Joe Biden, wore a facemask throughout the duration of the debate. Trump even mocked him by insinuating that he’s afraid of anything and everything.
Paradoxically, 48 hours after the debate, trump himself announced that he and Melania have tested positive to the virus. What an irony! The man that down plays COVID-19 some hours ago suddenly became a victim. It should also be observed that since the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, Trump has not deemed it fit to unleash the necessary arsenal that should have contained it before it came to America.
However, latest reports say the virus is mild on the US President. The symptom, according to American medical experts, hasn’t manifested into cough and catarrh yet. Immediate conclusion the attack is not mild. It has not degenerated to a full blown COVID-19 disease. But even at that situation, it is devastating news for Trump and his supporters around who fear that his succumb to Coronavirus a month to the US presidential election could have distressing effect on the efforts to reelect him in the White House.
Actually, what makes it more disturbing is the fact that he has been trailing behind Democratic Joe Biden in many opinion polls and it was felt in some quarters that he should have used this month still in his kitty to make any appreciable impact before the election in early week of November 2020. Surely, his ill health will indeed have debilitating and destabilizing effect on his campaign and to larger extent to the race back to the White House.
He had tweeted that just before 1am on Friday that “I and Melania will get through this together”. Whatever happens, it will be on record that that a sitting President needed to do a thorough job on his campaign track, a sick knocked him of stage. Like everyone has observed, this is not the best of times or season for the US President and his team of campaigners. Besides his losing some grounds in the campaign, his age is not friendly to the virus. The US President is 74 and this puts him on a higher risk of complications.
The President’s physician said in a memo that Trump and First Lady who is 50 will be “planning to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence. But that has changed now.
Certainly, since the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, about 34 million people around have fallen victims to it. For now, over one million people have died as a result of the disease.
In America alone, over 200, 000 of its citizens have also been killed by the menacing pandemic while over seven million Americans are currently suffering from it. The US President’s current COVID-19 status should be a big lesson to other world leaders who may out sheer political radicalism, may decide to flout certain rules that do not protect their compatriots. Now that both the President and the First Lady are quarantined, Trump should have some deep reflections on his seriousness or otherwise of the US fight against the pandemic.
Well, it is not all bad news from the Trump’s camp. Officials of the White House said he will still carry out his duties from the White House. Mr Hope Hicks, a White House aide whom Trump has recently travelled severally with in recent times was announced as contracting the virus. He, himself is also being quarantined.
Latest reports say Trump and Melania are currently in Walter Reed Military Hospital, a move which the White House said was made out of an abundance of caution after he tested positive to COVID-19 and experienced symptom. His doctors say he is been treated with an experimental therapy that uses lab engineered antibodies. Trump should get well and come out and continue to rule America with the best of intensions and the advice of experts and not his person one.
EndUche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000; He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.