In announcing he would be leaving the Walter Reed military hospital Monday evening, where he’s been treated for Covid-19 since Friday, President Trump told Americans, “Don’t be afraid of Covid,” drawing fierce criticism as the country pushes past a world-leading 210,000 deaths.
Bob Wachter, the chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California-San Francisco, said, “This either shows a breathtakingly callous, inhumane & counterproductive attitude, or he has altered mental status.”
Dr. Ali Khan, a retired assistant surgeon general and current dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, responded with a graph of daily confirmed deaths per million people that show the U.S. greatly outpacing other countries.
U.S. House Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), whose father died from the virus, called it an “evil thing to say to those of us who lost our loved ones to Covid-19.”
“Don’t be afraid, says the guy with a team of a dozen doctors, access to experimental treatments that no one else gets, a four room hospital suite, who lives in a house with top doctors on site 24/7,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said, noting the recent revelation that Trump has in some years paid no federal income taxes in the past.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) pointing out the dichotomy between the “world-class taxpayer healthcare” and “treatments many Americans can’t access” that Trump received and his administration’s current effort to end the Affordable Care Act through the Supreme Court.
“Tell that to all the Americans who – unlike you – DON’T have access to the best healthcare in the world, funded entirely by taxpayers,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
“This is reckless to a shocking degree, even for you,” said Avengers actor Chris Evans.
Isaiah Whitlock Jr., who played Maryland State Senator Clay Davis on The Wire, reacted to the comment using his character’s famous catchphrase.
The White House is currently experiencing a significant outbreak of Covid-19, with the president testing positive Thursday night and subsequently hospitalized on Friday. Trump has had a cough, fever, fatigue and trouble breathing, the latter requiring oxygen be administered. Trump was treated with three different drugs, including an experimental cocktail from Regeneron that’s not available to the public yet. While the administration has attempted to downplay Trump’s illness, health experts say the treatments suggest a moderate to severe case of the coronavirus. With just 4% of the world’s population, the U.S. has so far accounted for 21% of all cases of the coronavirus worldwide with 7.4 million and 20% of global deaths with 210,000.
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