No President is safe from his own COVID policy

Page 1 of 1 [ 2 posts ] 

ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 29,621
Location: Long Island, New York

22 Jul 2022, 1:53 pm

FiveThirtyEight

Quote:
The French philosopher Joseph de Maistre once said that every country gets the government it deserves. Likewise, perhaps every American president gets the COVID-19 infection he deserves.

Okay, “deserves” might be a strong word. While de Maistre, a counter-Enlightenment intellectual who believed in the divine right of kings as the most stable form of government, probably would endorse the concept of pathogen as karmic comeuppance, we here at FiveThirtyEight believe a case of COVID isn’t anyone’s punishment for anything.

But, mayyyybe that’s a little less true if you’re the guy deciding what choices are available to everyone else.

Trump likely got his infection via a famously cavalier approach to party planning — throwing a largely unmasked gala at a point in the pandemic when vaccines weren’t yet available. On September 26, 2020, the president held a Rose Garden event to celebrate the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Trump likely got his infection via a famously cavalier approach to party planning — throwing a largely unmasked gala at a point in the pandemic when vaccines weren’t yet available. On September 26, 2020, the president held a Rose Garden event to celebrate the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Case numbers in Washington D.C. were low at the time, but this was an party full of hugging and handshakes and it launched a superspreader event that likely infected not just the president and First Lady, but also multiple members of Congress, White House staffers, members of the media, and a whole litany of government and campaign workers.

Trump ended up in the hospital with a case so severe that he came close to being put on a ventilator, and was given basically every drug doctors could think of to treat COVID — a mixture of dexamethasone, remdesivir, and monoclonal antibodies.

If the overarching theme of Trump’s approach to COVID was to shut his eyes and hope the pandemic couldn’t see him if he couldn’t see it, the overarching theme of Biden’s approach has been to frame a collective disaster as just another matter of personal responsibility.

The Administration thought it had a silver bullet, going so far as to declare that July 4, 2021 would be a celebration of freedom from COVID. They were so certain that individual vaccinations would be enough that they rolled back federal mask mandates in May 2021, under the assumption that if you did the right thing and got vaccinated, then you’d be fine. Other policy options that could prevent spread — ventilation requirements, reliable data collection on case numbers, masking during periods of high transmission, getting vaccines to other countries where the virus still spreads unchecked — have largely been left to wither.

The result is an America where COVID keeps mutating, waves of disease keep coming, and the populations of the most vulnerable remain isolated, trapped, and dying. We have an America where we take COVID seriously, but not literally. We have an America where even the most responsible and well-protected of Americans is almost guaranteed to get COVID eventually.

Even a president who trusts the science.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


ToughDiamond
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Age: 70
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,508

25 Jul 2022, 3:46 pm

Boris Johnson caught it even worse than Trump. His father tried to put a spin on it - "he almost took one for the team." And there I was thinking Boris had just acted recklessly. Really though, after he caught it I don't understand why anybody listened to his Covid advice again.

Some of his pronouncements were ridiculous. He hailed the Oxford-Astra-Zeneca vaccine as a great British triumph. If you've ever been inside a UK laboratory you might have noticed that the staff are anything but 100% British. And nobody really needed another vaccine. Just increasing production of the existing ones would have done the trick.

Then, as the medical scientists were telling us that face masks didn't do much good, he said he wanted everybody back at work and to wear masks "to give them the confidence to return to work." The medics became more pro-mask some time later, but the protection an ordinary mask gives an individual still isn't that great. And I've always been suspicious of that U-turn in their advice.