Staff Editorial- Trump and COVID: a one-man spectacle and the suffering at large

In a rare moment, President Donald Trump is fitting in rather than standing out, joining the ranks of more than 7.5 million Americans. And yet, as is the nature of his starlike status, it has become the biggest news of October. 

If anything could beat the neverending news cycle that keeps one-upping itself, it would be Trump testing positive for COVID-19. 

Of course, this seemed inevitable. Trump has been reluctant to follow the CDC’s advice for months. He’s rarely seen social distancing and his mask-wearing is sporadic — take a look at his crowded indoor rallies for proof. 

Someone as protected and noteworthy as Trump getting coronavirus tells us something we all were aware of in the first place: anyone can get it and if you don’t listen to the doctors, you will. 

The politicization of science we have seen recently is literally deadly. It creates tribes of people who live or die based on their affiliations with a specific candidate. Unmasked and unaware, there are people who put trust in their elected officials, absorbing the rhetoric they offer in speeches/tweets. If that rhetoric creates a discrepancy between those official and nonpartisan institutions like the CDC, then something if seriously wrong. 

Empirical matters should be backed from both sides to act as common ground that focus on the wellbeing of the public. 

There’s nothing special about this news. In fact, it’s turning out to be the most predictable turn of events that could have sprung from these past few months. 

Yes, Trump caught the virus but so did a good handful at MHS just this past week. 

If anything, it proves that this disease knows no bounds. It does not care if it is at a party for a Supreme Court nominee or between two masked students at school. The only notable thing to be gleaned is the reality in which the most talked about coronavirus victim has perhaps been given the best healthcare in the nation.

Because after him actually getting the virus, the second most inevitable outcome of this whole affair is that he almost certainly will survive, despite touting the comorbidity of old age and obesity. 

Shortly after he informed twitter of the news, he was admitted to Walter Reed where he was treated by doctors required to sign non-disclosure agreements and was given a trendy new drug Regeneron (both of which, as he claims on Twitter, have made him “feel better than [he] did 20 years ago.) 

The Americans who have died, largely faceless to the public, tucked under the ever-increasing statistic which now rounds out to 200,000, deserve the prime care Trump raves about. Those with power and privilege and a way to largely stay safe and healthy are in the minority. Essential workers — doctors, grocery baggers, teachers — make sacrifices every day because, for them, it is not a choice. It is their livelihood. And they should all be given a right to life. 

Hopefully, the 200,000 Americans dead right now (and millions of others who will now have a pre-existing condition after catching the virus) is a wake up call that getting treated when sick or dying is an inherent part of this right. 

The United States is the only industrialized nation to not have universal health care. That in it of itself should signal an alarm. According to PBS, nearly one third of Americans “face each day without the security of knowing that, if and when they need it, medical care is available to them and their families.” 

Those up top can afford to be careless — in more ways than one. They have the connections, the money, and the resources to do so. But as a result, they’re being careless for their constituents who don’t have the same sort of luxuries. 

If you don’t care because no one you know is ill or because we’re young and can bounce back easily, give it a month, or a year, or a few decades. Or have the empathy to find as much importance in the suffering stranger nearby as the sensationalized display offered by our government. Sickness feels like a faraway reality until it happens to you or someone you know. 

But by then, it may be too late.