Did Donald Trump Tell A Tiny Little Fibette About His COVID Testing?
It's possible that Donald Trump's response after contracting COVID-19 wasn't entirely on the up and up. According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump didn't tell his little buddy, Sean Hannity, that he'd already tested positive for COVID-19 and was waiting for the results of a more comprehensive test. Hannity brought up the breaking news that Hope Hicks, senior counselor to the president, had tested positive. Trump only admitted to having taken a test as a precaution. Hours later, he'd have to come forward with his own diagnosis.
This is why I've disagreed so strongly with people who claim that Trump was “faking" having COVID-19. Trump is too stupid to conceive of so complex a hoax. His criminal enterprises are the intellectual equivalent of an untrained puppy crapping on the rug and desperately trying to cover it up.
Trump is also a malignant narcissist who's overdosed on toxic masculinity. He views sickness (along with compassion and basic human decency) as weakness. It's why he refused to wear a mask or follow even the most basic guidelines that could help slow the spread of COVID-19.
We don't know when Trump first tested positive. Bloomberg broke the story about Hicks having COVID-19, and because she had developed symptoms, her condition was impossible to hide. It's possible, and more in character, that Trump tested positive much earlier in the week than Thursday night, and far from considering that a political windfall, he did everything he could to avoid letting the public know.
The WH clearly has a reason to stonewall questions about when Trump's last negative test was. It should be a really… https://t.co/sjxaJmP2kC— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1601926268.0
White House physician Dr.
Leo Spaceman Sean Conley couldn't say definitively — or even ballpark — when Trump last tested negative for COVID-19. That's either because Trump wasn't tested regularly — he's a big baby and wouldn't submit to tests if he could just demand that anyone who gets near him has one — or he'd tested positive well before Thursday night.
If Trump had contracted COVID-19 at Amy Coney Barrett's coronavirus pool party on September 26, he might've tested positive as early as Tuesday, September 29, when he “debated" Joe Biden. Trump was around RNC Chair Ronna “The Rona" McDaniel on September 24 and 25. McDaniel tested positive shortly afterward, so a new theory is that Trump himself was the Outbreak monkey at the Barrett bash. It would make sense because everyone present would've interacted with the president at least briefly. It's still unclear how Melania Trump contracted the virus.
Trump arrived too late for testing before the presidential debate, which was either convenient or deliberate and few events in life are ever convenient. It's unclear why organizers didn't make time for the test, given what was at stake. The tests take about 15 minutes. That's why they're called “rapid" tests and not a “phone call with your grandmother."
It's not unreasonable to think that Trump imagined he could remain asymptomatic or at least not noticeably ill. The news breaking about Hope Hicks spoiled his plans. The New York Times reports that Trump started feeling symptoms as early as Wednesday.
We do know that White House turned into a hot spot and Trump's primary concern was, as always, strictly himself.
As the virus spread among the people closest to him, Mr. Trump also asked one adviser not to disclose results of their own positive test. "Don't tell anyone," Mr. Trump said, according to a person familiar with the conversation.
The public doesn't benefit if the White House is less than transparent about staffers contracting COVID-19. The only one who benefits from the lies is Trump, who met with supporters and donors after he knew he'd been exposed to someone who'd tested positive. His own CDC guidelines required him to quarantine, but he refused.
Hicks developed symptoms on Wednesday, September 30. Despite the known risk, Trump still traveled to Bedminster, New Jersey, for multiple maskless indoor fundraising receptions. Yes, the guests were Republicans, and yes, the meal was a buffet. They still didn't deserve to have the president recklessly expose them to COVID-19.
The Times also revealed that two members of the White House residence staff tested positive three weeks ago. They apparently had no contact with the president or first lady, and why should the Trumps care if the people who make their beds live or die? Maggie Haberman tweeted that the sick employees were told to use “discretion" when discussing their conditions. COVID-19 isn't something to be ashamed of, and genuine essential workers, unlike Kayleigh McEnany, shouldn't have to suffer in secrecy for the president's benefit.
The day before the debate, Trump and Pence were "unusually distant from each other" at a press conference.
VP Pence also not speaking from the same lectern as President Trump today. https://t.co/e8tCSKNX6O— Jamie Dupree (@Jamie Dupree)1601323422.0
What changed? Trump used the same lectern as Amy Coney Barrett during the Rose Garden Slow-Motion Massacre. He even rubbed his grubby hand all over her mic. It would be terrible if Trump knew as early as last Monday that he was compromised but didn't tell anyone or follow basic protocols. It would also be very much in character.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).