Trump’s illness is reinforcing his central political problem

আপডেট: অক্টোবর ৬, ২০২০

President Trump was released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Monday night, just over 72 hours after he was admitted on Friday to be treated for COVID-19. The whole episode, from the reckless Rose Garden superspreader ceremony to the president’s unseemly Sunday night joyride and now his obviously rushed discharge, is a case study in why Trump is unpopular and dangerous and careening toward a comprehensive repudiation.

Just weeks before an election in which he was already trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden badly, the president and his team have inadvertently reinforced his most endemic problems by showcasing his very worst behavior.

The president announced his impending release on Twitter (where else?) Monday afternoon, and it is representative of the omnishambles of his reign that he couldn’t even get this simple announcement right. “Don’t be afraid of Covid,” he said, adding “I feel better than I did 20 years ago!” It was a mix of the patently absurd — what 74-year-old man feels better physically than he did at 54 after days of being stuffed full of experimental drugs to fight off a deadly virus?

— and the needlessly damaging. Has anyone in Trumpworld read a poll about how the public regards his coronavirus response? Nearly everyone in this country knows someone who has gotten sick or died from this disease and only people who have lost all contact with reality think there’s nothing to be afraid of.

Shortly thereafter he bragged obscenely about the stock market. Not content with merely a terrible news day, the president then returned the White House, gruffly took off his mask and stood on the balcony, appearing to gasp for breath, clearly uncomfortable, caked in what appeared to be multiple levels of ineffective concealer, looking very much like someone who should get back to the hospital on the quick or else get his affairs in order. His COVID-positive press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, one of at least 18 people to get the virus while dancing on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s grave, claimed hilariously that he “stood strongly on the balcony.” Right.