Positive! Trump’s Covid Bungling Now Takes a Personal Toll

The president’s contracting Covid underscores a major policy difference between Trump and Biden.
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COVID-19\Trump & 2020 Election]
The Nation: "On a human level, Trump deserves all sympathy...But empathy for Trump as a person shouldn’t be an excuse for ignoring his massive policy failures, which have made the United States a global hot spot for Covid.'
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The Nation's Jeet Heer says we should have sympathy for Donald Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis--but still remain critical of his "massive policy failures" regarding COVID-19.

With only a little over a month until the election, Donald Trump shocked the world by announcing that he and his wife had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. As The New York Times reports, the announcement threw “the nation’s leadership into uncertainty and escalat[ed] the crisis posed by a pandemic that has already killed more than 207,000 Americans and devastated the economy.”

The newspaper added that the very fate of the election was now uncertain:

"Mr. Trump’s positive test result could pose immediate difficulties for the future of his campaign against former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., his Democratic challenger, with just 33 days before the election on Nov. 3. Even if Mr. Trump, 74, remains asymptomatic, he will have to withdraw from the campaign trail and stay isolated in the White House for an unknown period of time. If he becomes sick, it could raise questions about whether he should remain on the ballot at all."

On CNN, Dr. Anthony Reiner suggested that both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence could become ill at the same time. For the sake of continuity of government, he recommended that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who would be third in the chain of command, be kept in isolation.

It’s likely that news of Trump’s medical condition (at this point, he is said to be mildly symptomatic) will force Democrats to confront a political conundrum as they get pressure not to politicize the news. There are already calls for Trump to be treated with sympathy. Conservative pontificator Ben Shapiro sarcastically tweeted, “Looking forward to all the kind-hearted expressions of sympathy to Trump and Melania from the blue-checkmark Left.”

Centrist pundit Jeff Greenfield asked, “Does Biden suspend his campaign as Trump is quarantined? Is the White House failure to observe protocols a reason for Biden to continue his campaigning?”

The obvious answer is no. Biden shouldn’t suspend his campaign.

The president’s contracting Covid underscores a major policy difference between Trump and Biden. From the beginning of the crisis, Trump has downplayed dangers and minimized the need for health measures such as social distancing and mask-wearing. He’s done so out of the belief that extensive action on Covid was bad for the economy.

Biden, by contrast, has consistently argued that the economy can recover only after Covid is brought under control, which means policies aimed at radically slowing down the spread of the disease.

On a human level, Trump deserves all sympathy, as does his wife, Melania, and his close aide Hope Hicks, who has also tested positive. Covid is a terrible wasting disease that kills many and also frequently inflicts chronic health problems on those who survive.

But empathy for Trump as a person shouldn’t be an excuse for ignoring his massive policy failures, which have made the United States a global hot spot for Covid.

Read rest of story here: https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/trump-covid-positive-election/

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