In true Donald Trump fashion, at 12:54am EST on Friday October 1st, the president took to Twitter to announce that he and the first lady had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
The news sent shockwaves across the country and the world, quickly becoming his most retweeted and “liked” tweet since joining Twitter in 2009. The nationwide focus on the health of the president continued as he was admitted to Walter Reed medical center and then released Monday.
While the wellbeing of the President of the United States will always be an important issue, we must also acknowledge the relentless partisanship which can be unearthed by such an impactful event. In the case of Trump’s diagnosis, there is deep divide between those for whom the value of every human life remains intact, and those for whom political victories rank above all else.
Here are four reactions to the president’s battle with COVID-19 which were a fresh reminder of a unity almost forgotten, and 28 reactions which show that such division still remains.
1. Rachel Maddow
MSNBC host, and vocal critic of Trump, gave a commendable response filled with unity, perspective, and grace.
God bless the president and the first lady. If you pray, please pray for their speedy and complete recovery — and for everyone infected, everywhere.
This virus is horrific and merciless — no one would wish its wrath on anyone.
We must get its spread under control. Enough.
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) October 2, 2020
2. Joe Biden
Joe Biden, Trump’s staunch rival in the pivotal and inflammatory upcoming election, offered this measured response.
Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 2, 2020
3. Alyssa Milano
Actor and activist Alyssa Milano responded with sympathy, reminding her followers of her experience with COVID-19.
As someone who has had #COVID19 and still suffers from post-covid syndrome, I can honestly say with all that I am that I wouldn’t wish this virus on my worst enemy.
Please wear a mask.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 2, 2020
4. Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders also offered a generally apolitical message in response to the news.
Jane and I wish the President and First Lady a full and speedy recovery. The COVID-19 virus is real, it is dangerous and can infect anybody. As a nation we must do all we can to fight this virus and protect the American people.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 2, 2020
1. Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who herself has often refused to be tested for COVID-19, was quick to politicize Trump’s diagnosis, stating, “This is tragic. It’s very sad, but it also is something that again, going into crowds, unmasked and all the rest was sort of a brazen invitation for something like this to happen.”
Presumably, Pelosi’s call for people to come to Chinatown in late February, or her unmasked use of a closed business during lockdown won’t also count as a “brazen invitation.”
2. Sean Penn
Actor Sean Penn, who has schmoozed with dictator Hugo Chávez — an accusation Penn believes should land journalists in jail — offered this misguided attempt to repackage Trump’s comments regarding John McCain:
I like presidents who don’t get Covid-19.
— Sean Penn (@SeanPenn) October 4, 2020
3. Michael Moore
“Documentary” filmmaker reacted to Trump’s announcement of his diagnosis by promulgating an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory, claiming that Trump was lying about his diagnosis.
“He’s an evil genius, and I raise the possibility of him lying about having COVID-19 to prepare us and counteract his game,” Moore said. “He knows being sick tends to gain one sympathy. He’s not above weaponizing this.”
4. Joy Reid
MSNBC host Joy Reid also promoted this conspiracy theory, using her “cellphone full of texts” as evidence of her accusations. Is this Reid’s version of “binders full of women?”
Here’s how wrecked Trump’s credibility is at this point: I’ve got a cellphone full of texts from people who aren’t sure whether to believe Trump actually has covid. “He lies so much,” one friend just texted. “Is he just doing this to get out of the debates?” others are texting.
— Joy JUST VOTE & MASK UP!! Reid 😷) (@JoyAnnReid) October 2, 2020
5. Julián Castro
Failed presidential candidate Julián Castro followed his initially hopeful language with the promotion of the lie that Trump called COVID-19 a hoax and called for people to “inject bleach” as a cure. Ironically, he concluded by calling for an end to “divisive, dangerous rhetoric.”
Mr. President—if these reports are confirmed, I wish you and the First Lady well. I hope this is a wake up call that this virus is not a hoax or something cured by injecting bleach.
We need a plan, not the same divisive, dangerous rhetoric. https://t.co/9AfimT16EF
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) October 2, 2020
6. Linda Sarsour
Terrorist sympathizer and outspoken anti-Semite Linda Sarsour seemed to imply that Trump was either lying about his diagnosis or that he intentionally caught COVID-19 in order to avoid his upcoming debate with Joe Biden.
Seems like someone don’t wanna go back to the debate stage. 🤔🤔
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) October 2, 2020
7. The Washington Post
Soon after Trump’s announcement that he was diagnosed with a potentially fatal virus, The Washington Post tweeted a link to an opinion piece titled “Imagine what it will be like to never have to think about Trump again.”
Where journalism dies in darkness. pic.twitter.com/zP6nfXPS9m
— Ian G Haworth (@ighaworth) October 2, 2020
8. Los Angeles Times
The following day, the LA Times compared the president’s diagnosis to the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, with the apparent difference being that Reagan “hadn’t spent months downplaying assassins.”
When Reagan was shot, country rallied around, but he hadn't spent months downplaying assassins https://t.co/Co0UdG3aK9
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 2, 2020
9. Cameron Kasky
Anti-gun activist Cameron Kasky joined us topless from his toilet to laugh about Trump’s diagnosis. He also responded directly to the president, writing, “I hope you get a mutation of the virus that makes your anus fall off,” and “inject some bleach.”
My sincere apologies to the president and First Lady.
Wishing them a speedy recovery. pic.twitter.com/W9VqUGcBtS
— Cam (@cameron_kasky) October 2, 2020
10. Daniel Golson
Roadshow’s Daniel Golson posted this now-deleted tweet: “I don’t feel bad about hoping he dies because I’ve been hoping that since 2015.”
11. Danielle Muscato
Black Lives Matter activist Danielle Muscato offered this opinion: “I’m not one to laugh at other people’s suffering, but…. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Burn in hell you mother f***er.”
12. Brad Gallaway
Blogger Brad Gallaway tweeted: “I don’t want the current powers of the GOP to rally behind someone savvier and more civilized than Trump because we’re already in enough trouble as it is, but I’m not gonna pretend and be polite here – i hope Trump f***ing dies a painful COVID death and I’m not sorry.”
13. Zara Rahim
Former Obama administration official and Clinton presidential campaign worker also hoped for Trump’s death.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) October 2, 2020
14. Andy Slavitt
Former Obama administration official pre-empted Trump’s announcement to push the “hoax” lie.
He must be quarantining because he doesn’t want to pass the hoax on to anyone else.
— Andy Slavitt @ 🏡 (@ASlavitt) October 2, 2020
15. Max Berger
Former Elizabeth Warren campaign staffer Max Berger wrote: “Praying Our President doesn’t die of the preventable illness that he inflicted upon millions of Americans,” and “I can’t think of anything more distasteful than wishing death upon another human, except maybe causing preventable mass death because you don’t want to damage the stock market or your reelection chances.”
16. Michael Bonfiglio
Film director Michael Bonfiglio tweeted: “I hope Trump’s diagnosis wakes his supporters up to the reality of the pandemic and also that it makes him suffer and die.”
17. Zach Braff
“Scrubs” star Zach Braff responded with “But we were told this was a hoax,” pushing the utter falsehood repeatedly echoed by the media that Trump stated that COVID-19 is a hoax.
But we were told this was a hoax.
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) October 2, 2020
18. Alex Blagg
Writer Alex Blagg provided us with this (now deleted) tweet: “Just a quick note of support for Hope Hicks and President Trump I hope they both die.”
19. Yvette Nicole Brown
“Community” actress Yvette Nicole Brown also pushed the “Democratic hoax” lie.
HOW do you test positive for a Democratic Hoax?
I am baffled by this news. https://t.co/RTxjRaynbJ
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) October 2, 2020
20. Adam Rippon
Yet another verified Twitter user, former figure skater Adam Rippon, pushed this same lie.
TRUMP has the HOAX VIRUS. I AM SCREAMING OUT LOUD AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
— Adam Rippon (@AdamRippon) October 2, 2020
21. Dove Cameron
Disney Channel actress Dove Cameron joined the “hoax” parade.
but…why would you get tested for the hoax when you’ve said many times that is what causes the hoax? that was your first mistake !!! i just can’t believe the democrats would do this to you. them and all their irresponsible hoaxes.
— Dove Cameron (@DoveCameron) October 2, 2020
22. Rob Reiner
Actor Rob Reiner, who in March demanded that Trump be removed from office, also pushed the hoax lie.
That damn hoax.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) October 2, 2020
23. Padma Lakshmi
Host of Hulu’s “Taste The Nation,” Padma Lakshmi, described Trump’s diagnosis as “karma.”
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) October 2, 2020
24. Cardi B
It will surprise readers to see Cardi B on any list regarding classlessness. Unfortunately, she earned her spot.
“BET YOU WANNA” wear a mask now 😩😩😩 https://t.co/jp6NTiGztO
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) October 2, 2020
25. Jennifer Rubin
Never-Trumper and “conservative” opinion writer Jennifer Rubin added “COVID-19” to her ever-growing list of reasons why Donald Trump should immediately resign.
He should resign immediately.
— Jennifer 'Vote Early' Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) October 2, 2020
26. George Conway
Founding member of The Lincoln Project, George Conway, offered this nugget of deep insight.
He failed to protect the country.
He couldn't even protect himself.
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) October 2, 2020
27. Neha Poonia
Journalist Neha Poonia used Trump’s diagnosis to push several political positions, including the statement that Trump “contributed the most to the spread of misinformation” about the pandemic. This, itself, is misinformation, given that this conclusion was based on a study which simply counted how many misleading articles “featured Donald Trump.”
President of the United States @realDonaldTrump, someone who repeatedly downplayed the risk of COVID19 and according to a recent study contributed the most to the spread of misinformation about the #Covid-19 pandemic, tests positive for COVID19.
Wear. Your. Mask. https://t.co/p9vpF9b7Wj
— Neha Poonia (@NehaPoonia) October 2, 2020
28. Josh Butler
Political Editor of the Australian “New Daily” offered this attempted dunk on the president, despite the fact that “one day” was never defined by Trump.
Donald Trump, February 28: "[COVID] is going to disappear. One day it's like a miracle, it will disappear"
Donald Trump, October 2: https://t.co/6H6yIcGufK
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) October 2, 2020
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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