The news that Donald Trump has COVID-19 has not been without controversy. As is routine for the Trump White House, inconsistent information has made it difficult to ascertain what exactly is going on in the President’s quarters in Walter Reed. While Trump’s doctor is optimistic about Trump’s condition, that optimism has been questioned in light of Trump receiving an experimental antiviral treatment that’s often used in times of desperation, as well as Remdesivir, which appears to allay COVID-19 symptoms.
What is clear, however, is that Trump is at a heightened risk of serious COVID-19 complications due to his age and general health. With that in mind, and with reports that Trump’s vitals over the last 24 hours having been “very concerning,” it’s also clear that the public is not getting the truth.
I will say that, to an extent, that’s understandable and even reasonable. There are certain national security concerns with having an incapacitated head of state and, at least in my opinion, Trump should be afforded some level of privacy just like the rest of us. What isn’t understandable or reasonable is wheeling out Trump’s doctor to lie on camera to the world about his condition. Sometimes “no comment” is the best comment.
But what lies we are being told are, arguably, somewhat revealing. The Trump White House has a tendency to issue statements that overwhelmingly reflect what they want people to hear rather than the truth. With that in mind, the message that Trump’s doing more or less fine is, in my view, pretty meaningless. What exactly is going on remains unclear.
Messages like “We are still not clear on a path to full recovery” are being issued at the same time as statements about Trump’s vim and vigor will continue to be confusing. It might not be awhile before we start getting any clear and consistent information on Trump’s condition. I would say that until we see him on television again, don’t assume anything.