Trump Downplays COVID…Then Tests Positive


(Note: This article is categorized as an Op-Ed. As such, all opinions are that of staff writer Kelsey Byrd’s, and do not reflect the ideas or thoughts of Memorial High School nor the MHS Journalism staff team as a whole.)


On Tuesday, presidential candidate Joe Biden and President Donald Trump squared off in a highly chaotic, nasty and deeply uncivil debate that can only be summarized as being reflective of the inharmonious times we live in. However amidst the seas of insults, name-calling and constant interruptions (I’m looking at you, Trump) the COVID pandemic took center stage as both nominees debated how to best tackle the virus after troubling statistics show continued spread. For his part, Trump has been controversialy flippant and consistently showcased ill-placed optimism on the rate in which the coronavirus will cease to be. Indeed, just last debate Trump vehemently defended holding large rallies (“they’re outside!”) and his administration’s less than stellar response to the pandemic in the past (“President Trump did a fabulous job!”) However despite his repeated proclamations on getting the upper hand on COVID, the story broke this Friday that Mr. The-End-Of-The-Pandemic-Is-In-Sight himself has tested positive for corona. 


Both Trump and First Lady Melania tested positive for COVID, a statement from the White House revealed. Many wondered how this would play out for the 74-year-old President, as the coronavirus has been documented as being more dangerous for those 65 and over. However Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows  assured worried supporters that the President was in “good spirits” and was only showing “mild symptoms.” Adding to the assuage of fears for the President, Trump’s doctor wrote that “The President and the First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home during their convalescence.” 


Even if Trump remains in good health, the question remains- how, or if, this will affect the election. For starters, this will certainly affect Trump’s diligent campaign tour as his scheduled stops to Virginia, Minnesota and Florida, as well as others, will have to be placed on hold. Other aspects are less certain however. Such ambiguous events include how the next debate will be held and how voters will respond to Trump’s sickness.


Even if the future remains mysterious and quiet in it’s assurance of any outcome, the past is both solidly observable and telling. There are two evident truths- one, the US has had more cases than any other country, and two, the necessity of social distancing and paced reopenings has been repeatedly downplayed by the President. However unlike other instances of Trump’s misgivings, his grievous and consequential response (or lack thereof) to the pandemic has not escaped his supporters’ notice. With the combination of past contentions to his retaliation on the virus as well as his currently having it, there is reason to suggest that the pandemic could have disastrous implications on Trump’s re-election. And to be perfectly biased and most personal (after all this is an op-ed), it is my dearest of hopes that this is the case.