Editorial | The coronavirus pandemic mattered long before Trump’s infection

President+Donald+Trump+wears+a+protective+face+mask+in+a+motorcade+outside+Walter+Reed+National+Military+Medical+Center+during+his+treatment+for+COVID-19+on+Sunday+in+Bethesda%2C+Maryland.+

Yuri Gripas, Abaca Press | TNS

President Donald Trump wears a protective face mask in a motorcade outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center during his treatment for COVID-19 on Sunday in Bethesda, Maryland.

President Donald Trump announced that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus at nearly 1 a.m. on Friday.

While some may have been stunned by the news, perhaps thinking Trump and the people he works with were far removed from the virus, it’s truly not surprising given his dismissal of the pandemic early on and refusal to wear a mask. Even so, it is inexcusably selfish for Trump and his administration to suddenly care about the coronavirus now that they are directly impacted, especially after more than 200,000 Americans have died from it.

It’s ridiculous that conservative politicians are concerned now that Trump has COVID-19, especially after many of them spent the early months of the pandemic fighting to reopen states prematurely. Now that Trump has been infected with the virus, of course, he’s dubbed it a “PLAGUE” and praised the “amazing” health care workers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and “likewise incredible institutions.”

It’s equally ridiculous for Trump and his party to expect the American people to wish the president well as he undergoes treatment for the virus. For the majority of the pandemic, Trump did little to nothing to provide relief to the general populace or lessen the blow of the pandemic. His first round of government stimulus checks failed to reach citizens who needed them most, he didn’t encourage the nation to stay home or to social distance and he didn’t enforce any kind of mask mandate to limit the spread of the virus.

He does not deserve our sympathy, especially not after he’s been travelling across the country for campaign events over the course of the last week, hosting rallies and campaign events where groups would gather without masks and not observe proper social distancing procedures. He’s created numerous cesspools for the virus to spread, so it comes as no surprise that he and his administration are now feeling the effects of their irresponsible actions.

This situation also highlights the ironies and downfalls of our health care system. Trump is receiving some of the best, if not the best, medical care in the country, and while he may have experienced ups and downs over the last few days, his doctors said he was not experiencing severe symptoms when he was originally hospitalized. This is in sharp contrast to how, in the early months of the pandemic, when hospitals were overloaded, people who were not experiencing severe symptoms were turned away or denied treatment, lest they take away resources from someone who was sicker than them.

It’s unfair that Trump gets to parade around the country maskless, not caring about losing his job, his house or his life, while millions of people had to put their entire lives on hold and learn how to live and work through their computers. It’s selfish of him to put those he works with at risk, and it’s insanely hypocritical to now pretend like he and his administration have cared about the virus or about protecting others this whole time.

Don’t expect the American people to suddenly pity Trump now that he has coronavirus. We are not responsible for his selfish, irresponsible actions.

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