- The Trump administration’s approach to the COVID-19 outbreak among its top officials shows many of the same problems of its overall approach to the pandemic.
- There’s been little to no transparency, mixed messaging, a continued lack of respect for public health recommendations, and a futile effort to paint a rosy picture amid an evolving crisis.
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Over a dozen people in President Donald Trump’s orbit, along with the president himself, have tested positive for COVID-19 after the White House held what appears to be a super-spreader event in the Rose Garden to announce the president’s Supreme Court nominee a little over a week ago.
Based on the nature of the virus, that number could easily rise in the coming days.
The president has been hospitalized after being diagnosed with the virus last week and the list of top officials in the White House who’ve contracted the virus is expanding rapidly.
The Trump administration’s handling of this evolving internal health crisis, which also has major external consequences for the country and wider world, is near-identical to its approach to the US outbreak.
Since Trump’s diagnosis and the fallout, the White House has more or less ignored calls for transparency about Trump’s health from top public health experts and even Republicans in Congress.
“A significant increase in conspiracy theories & outrageous claims since the President’s diagnosis. Lies spread much faster than fact checking. This is why we need frequent, detailed & transparent updates from @WhiteHouse. And why we should all be skeptical of outlandish rumors,” GOP Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted on Friday.
Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, over the weekend called for “radical transparency” on Trump’s condition.
But the administration is refusing to give the public basic information and updates on the president’s condition, and Trump reportedly did not disclose he had a positive result via rapid COVID-19 test on Thursday evening as he awaited the results of another, more thorough test.
Similarly, the administration has repeatedly sought to block vital information on the pandemic from reaching the public, such as interfering with reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to ensure they did not clash with Trump’s optimistic messaging on the virus, per a recent report from Politico.
—The Hill (@thehill) October 5, 2020
The messaging from the White House on Trump’s health has often been extremely mixed, leading to suspicions of a cover-up.
In the first briefing on Trump’s status on