Opinion- COVID-19 In the White House

The announcement that President Trump and the First Lady tested positive for COVID-19 at the beginning of the month came as a shock to many, especially considering that the president had attended the presidential debate and hosted an announcement party and reception for his new Supreme Court nominee not long before the announcement that he had caught the virus. Reactions to the announcement included everything from a significant dip in the stock market, to concerns over the president’s health, to outright glee at the president catching the disease. President Trump is far from the only Republican official currently in quarantine or that has tested positive for COVID-19. There are currently 6 Republican Senators in quarantine, three of which have tested positive so far; in addition to these Senators there are 2 members of the House of Representatives in quarantine, though only one has tested positive for the virus. Alongside the president, several key members of the Trump administration have also gone into quarantine including Kellyanne Conway and Hope Hicks. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal and Boston Herald, the president and his cabinet are at the center of a COVID-19 cluster including 17 members of the administration or attendees of recent white house events and at least 11 individuals tied to the Cleveland debate. At time of writing, these individuals are still undergoing testing, treatment, and quarantining as needed.

The president was checked into Walter Reed for treatment last Friday and despite optimistic reports by administration doctors and representatives, infectious disease experts have expressed concern over the details provided about the president’s treatment. Dr. Thomas McGinn, Chief physician at Northwell Health has pointed out that the blood oxygen levels provided by the administration suggest the president’s lungs may be severely compromised. McGinn is also concerned over the medication being administered to the president and was quoted by the New York Times as saying “Suddenly, they’re throwing the kitchen sink at him… It raises the question: Is he sicker than we’re hearing, or are they being overly aggressive because he is the president, in a way that could be potentially harmful?”. Despite serious concerns and questions on the part of outside healthcare experts, at time of writing Trump Administration officials and Walter Reed doctors have maintained their optimistic evaluation of the president’s condition. There is little for the rest of the country to do but watch, wait, and speculate.

Joseph Doner – Staff Writer

Headline photo obtained from CNN.com

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