Trump’s star- spangled manner
RON TUESDAY, Donald Trump told us he’d recovered from Covid “and may even be immune”. But has he? Is he? You’re probably reading this on Saturday morning. There are conflicting stories about when exactly Trump tested positive for the virus, but the general medical opinion is that the next 72 hours are pivotal. Of course he’s still infected. Either the virus will decide it’s mostly done with the president, or that it’s only just got started on him. We know that it’s now, at roughly the 10- day point, when Covid finally shows its hand to the person it has infected. Trump stands on that threshold this weekend.
I hope he beats the bug. I have no truck with fools who say they “leapt for joy” when they heard he’d been struck down.
They’re part of the same dim, sheep- like flock who bleated “ding dong, the witch is dead” when Margaret Thatcher passed away.
Compassion is one of the highest human virtues and to turn one’s back on it with a cheap sneer out of reflex political hatred is base.
But back to the president. He’s clearly been calling all the shots with his medical team, rather than the reverse. The usual doctor- patient relationship has been upended by raw power. Press briefings from outside his hospital were uneasy.
Deliberate vagueness over if or when the patient had been given oxygen. Overly upbeat accounts of his condition.
Team leader Dr Sean Conley, the good- looking 40- year- old Navy commander who was not only talking about his patient but also his commander- in- chief, later tried to justify the evasiveness.
“I didn’t want to give any info that might steer the course of the illness in another direction,” he said sheepishly. ( Uhh? Just talking about someone’s illness might affect its outcome? Since when?)
But of course the uncomfortable doctor was really saying: “Look – the president is watching this on TV back there. He’ll have my head on a spike if I don’t tell you exactly what he wants me to!”
Which brings us to this weekend. Trump may have been telling the truth when he said he “feels 20 years younger”. But that’ll be the “rush” from the steroids he’s been taking. Steroids don’t affect the virus, they just mask symptoms.
Even so, it was obvious that the president was struggling to breathe during his triumphant return to the White House balcony.
I felt sorry for him while at the same time admiring his chutzpah as he not- so- secretly battled for air.
But I feel sorrier for the American people. They’ve been misled by the White House medical team and by their president.
When Ronald Reagan was shot, and George Bush hospitalised, there was frankness about their condition.
With Trump, it’s been spin and evasion all week. But by Monday we should know the truth of it – either way.
Whatever you think of him, hope for good news.
POSITIVE APPROACH: The next 72 hours will be crucial for Donald Trump