Public health experts had hoped that President Trump, chastened by his own infection with the coronavirus and the cases that have erupted among his staff members, would act decisively to persuade his supporters that wearing masks and social distancing were essential to protecting themselves and their loved ones.
But instead, tweeting on Monday from the military hospital where he had been receiving state-of-the-art treatment for Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, the president yet again downplayed the deadly threat.
"Don't be afraid of Covid," he wrote. "Don't let it dominate your life."
The president's comments drew outrage from scientists, ethicists and doctors, as well as from some people whose relatives and friends were among the more than 210,000 people who have died in the United States.
"I am struggling for words — this is crazy," said Harald Schmidt, an assistant professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania. "It is just utterly irresponsible."
Fiana Garza Tulip, 40, who lives in Brooklyn and lost her mother to the virus, wrote in a text message that she was "reeling" after reading Mr. Trump's tweet, which she described as a "slap in the face" and a "painful reminder that our president is unfit for office and that he does not care about human life."
"My mom, a respiratory therapist, couldn't get tested at her hospital where she worked, she had to look for two days for a testing site while feeling the effects of Covid, she didn't want to go to a hospital because she said it was worse there and she didn't want to call an ambulance because it was too expensive. So she stayed home for a week and lost her pulse as soon as the medics put her on a gurney."
Shane Peoples, 41, whose parents, Darlene and Johnny Peoples, died of the coronavirus on the same day in September, said the president's comments were frustrating.
"Is he actually trying to put more lives at risk?" Mr. Peoples said. "He needs to be held accountable for the deaths that could have been prevented if he never downplayed it."
Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical School in Tennessee, called the president's message "dangerous" because it encouraged his followers to ignore basic recommendations to keep themselves safe.
"It will lead to more casual behavior, which will lead to more transmission of the virus, which will lead to more illness, and more illness will lead to more deaths," Dr. Schaffner said.
Mr. Trump has often ignored the recommendations of public health experts, repeatedly mocking people for wearing masks, for example.
"I don't wear masks like him," he said of the Democratic presidential candidate, Joseph R. Biden Jr., at their debate in Cleveland last week. "Every time you see him, he's got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from them, and he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen."
Upon Mr. Trump's return on Monday evening from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he climbed the steps of the White House, turned to face the TV cameras that were carrying the news live, and removed his mask.
UNDERMINING PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDANCE Experts were outraged by the president's comments about a disease that has killed more than 210,000 people in the United States.
New York Times, October 6, 2020
Voices4America Post Script. Idiotic, macho, self absorbed, dangerous. All these words apply to Trump. He rejects science and endangers others, to serve himself. He puts at risk everyone who works to keep an American President safe. #DefeatTrumpBigly #Vote #BidenHarris2020
Here is the video.
Trump removes mask despite coronavirus infectionyoutu.be
This is the close up video. Watch the sociopath super-spreader appear to gasp for air. Is this all about his health and is it for his losing campaign?
Trump Appears To Gasp For Air After Hospital Releaseyoutu.be
AP reported on the response to Trump's tweet from 205,000 families who lost members to covid.
'An embarrassment': Trump tweet angers pandemic survivors
Joe Biden missed some of Trump's irresponsible madness in the White House last night, because he was at a televised town hall on NBC. He had quite a bit to say though about Trump's general responsibility for Americans sick and dying from the virus. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/with-trump...
Jim Acosta of ABC news called the balacony scene Trump's Covita moment. Joy Reid of MSNBC called it his “Mussolini moment.”
Steve Schmidt of the Lincoln Project, tonight (Monday) on The 11th Hour with Brian Williams (MSNBC), quoting his co-founder Reed Galen when referring to tRump on the balcony of the White House after returning from Walter Reed hospital: "Benito Trumpolini" 😆 Zactly!
Others shared Chelsea Clinton's disgust and worry about how Trump's reckless behavior would endanger those who serve the President.
We can remove this sick man from our Government and begin to move America to its better self.
Put this image on your FB and Twitter pages. Inspire others to vote.