As Americans, regardless of our differences, our wishes for the good health of the president and his wife are without question. It’s a moral imperative that serves as our undergirding as human beings. To argue otherwise is lose the battle before it is fought.
There is, however, the hope that a broader, deeper lesson is being learned, delivered, in spades, from the leader of the free world: pay attention not to my words but to my example and my condition. The pandemic that has us in its grip pays no heed to ego, to bombast, or party, or wealth. Tough guys fall as easily as the weak. Look at me.
It’s easy to imagine the replay of the “presidential” debate when Mr. Trump looked at his challenger, Joe Biden, and said, “I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”
Oh, if he could only rewind that tape.
Except he would have to rewind so much more. By any measure it’s been a bad last week or two for the president. He’s had the New York Times pouring through the last 20 years of his tax records raising questions not only about how little he’s paid in taxes, but just how astute he really is as a businessman. He continues to run significantly behind in the polls, with the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showing him 14 percentage points behind Mr. Biden. And the debate itself was a disaster, with the president coming off looking like the bully he is.
Now, he’s spent four days in the hospital, treated by the best health care providers the nation has, with his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, telling reporters in an off the record conversation that the “president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning, and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care…We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”
The president’s doctors gave a rosier and, more accurate summation suggesting the president’s most vulnerable time may have passed and that he may be discharged from the hospital as early as today.
Let’s hope so.
Still, the president is 74 with the added complication of being “slightly” obese. There is still much about his condition, his treatment and how he must quarantine himself that is unknown.
What we do know is the president’s cavalier attitude toward the virus and his ridiculing of people who wore masks as being “weak” has put people at risk; last week’s gathering in the White House for his nominee to the Supreme Court Amy Coney Barrett — most of whom did not wear masks — has the markings of a “spreader” event, taking down two United States Senators and a number of White House staffers.
As the president fights back — and we wish him the speediest of recoveries — the virus remains camped at the center of our lives. If ever there were a time the president could do something even close to heroic it would be admitting he was wrong and to urge Americans to heed his example.
by Emerson Lynn