Donald Trumped By The Virus

Yejin Lee ’23

After several months of not wearing masks, not properly addressing the issue, and disrespectfully referring to COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus”, Donald Trump now finds himself face to face with karma. He had caught the virus and was treated at the Watler Reed National Military Medical Center. However, despite his nonchalant actions towards the virus, he has been getting treatment at a higher level than anyone else. It’s not surprising that the president of the country would be able to afford better attention and care than the general public, but it gets confusing when the treatments he receives aren’t even available to others. 

When Trump contracted the coronavirus at the beginning of October, no one was all too surprised. A few days after, he tweeted, “Don’t be afraid of COVID…I feel better than I did 20 years ago!” (Yan), a shocking response to catching a disease that has killed millions. Prior to being hospitalized, Trump got Regeneron’s antibody treatment which hasn’t been offered to many people but has shown signs of being able to reduce the rates of COVID. Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve this sort of therapy had been specially given to Trump after a special request from the president’s doctors. In response to this, the Mayo Clinic reported that “getting access to not-yet-approved drugs through a compassionate use request can be a long and challenging process”, especially because the patients that receive this need to fulfill a list of qualifications (Yan). Trump’s treatment response was almost immediate, which deeply contrasted to the thousands of Americans who were unable to obtain such high-quality medicaments. Almost 210,000 citizens have passed away over just the past few months because they were unable to acquire the proper care, and Trump, despite his negligence, has received some of the best therapy.

Donald Trump has been one of the only people to get access to certain drugs like remdesivir, which has been reported to have rapid recovery effects but still has negative side effects like liver and kidney toxicity and anemia. Similarly to the antibody treatment, remsidivr has not yet been approved by the FDA for COVID treatment. He also has gotten treatment from dexamethasone, a common drug with anti-inflammatory agents at the cost of suppressing the immune system — which explains why it’s only used in severe situations. In fact, 23% of trial patients who took this had a 28-day mortality rate. His three-part treatment — antibody therapy, remsdivir, and dexamethasone — indicates that his health condition was critical. Luckily for him, according to his physician Dr. Sean Conley, Trump has been moved to the White House Medical Unit, “where he’ll be surrounded by world-class medical care” (Yan).

In addition to his medication, the president has gotten more access to virus testing than anyone else in America. He was tested multiple times a day while lying to his press secretary saying, “I do take, probably on average, a test every two days, three days. And I don’t know of any time I’ve taken two tests in one day. But I could see that happening” (Yan). There is a stark difference between the treatment he and the rest of the American population has gotten in response to the coronavirus.

Despite his heavy treatments and eventual discharge, it’s possible that Trump’s plight with COVID will be longer than expected. It has been common for the conditions of patients to worsen after they are released from the hospital, so there is no guarantee for safety. To many, his special treatment is no surprise, especially considering his presidential status, but his unpreparedness and inability to properly address the issue of a global pandemic make the situation he is in no surprise to anyone.