Mr Trump's personal COVID-19 testimony will be powerful and valuable


Mr Trump's personal COVID-19 testimony will be powerful and valuable

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

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We are, like the rest of the world, deeply concerned about developments in the United States, where President Donald Trump and a growing list of his close aides have contracted the horrible COVID-19.

This disease continues to be no respector of persons, and even leaders who are the most protected individuals in any country — including the United Kingdom prime minister and the president of Brazil — have felt its sting.

Whether we like it or not, our economic umbilical cord is firmly tied to the United States and so, by extension, we never want to see anything bad happen to that country or its leader, in this case Mr Trump, who we hope will make a full and speedy recovery.

It is obvious to see that Americans have managed to make the novel coronavirus pandemic into a major political issue for their November 3 presidential election. It will take us sometime to fathom how a clear public health crisis which should unite a country eventually evolved in one that has so divided its people.

Mr Trump has not done himself any good by not taking a full-throated approach to the wearing of masks at his well-attended campaign events, or even at official events inside the White House.

Indeed, he came across as mocking his opponent, Mr Joe Biden, for wearing masks all the time during the first presidential debate, last week Tuesday, in Cleveland, Ohio. As if it had a mind of its own, the virus struck Mr Trump only two days later, sending him to the Walter Reed Medical Center, where US presidents are treated.

The bigger lesson in all of this is that this disease is not something to play with. With over 35 million confirmed cases and over a million deaths the world has taken a cruel battering.

No country has suffered more than the US with over 200,000 deaths and over seven million confirmed cases. Behind those tragic numbers are daily stories of untold pain and human suffering.

If it is true that good can come out of bad, perhaps there might be a benefit to the world from Mr Trump contracting the coronavirus, as unfortunate as that is. But from one end of the globe to the next, people continue to believe that the virus is not to be taken seriously.

From the madness of 'COVID parties' to street protests against COVID-19 protocols meant to protect the populace, human beings have proven to be their own worst enemies.

Mr Trump's personal testimony writ large will be uniquely valuable in drawing serious attention to the disease and carrying the powerful message that if he can get it, so can anybody else.

Of course, there is also the underlying but sober message that, while as president of the most powerful country on Earth he has access to the best possible medical doctors and treatment, most ordinary folks will not be have such access, and so might have to brave the full ravages of the disease.

The virus could not have struck Mr Trump at a worse time — coming exactly one month away from the presidential election when he would be anywhere else than in a hospital bed.

Surely, it's time to take stock.

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