President Trump may not be a civilian, but he remains a human being — and that means he is still susceptible to catching and spreading COVID-19.
The risk of each of those things happening runs higher for Trump than most humans given his intense travel schedule, his age (74), refusal to wear a mask and continued downplaying of the threat of the pandemic. Yahoo News medical contributor Dr. Dara Kass believes it’s time the president is more cautious not only to protect himself, but to signal to the public that COVID-19 continues to be a major health risk.
“It has been a consistent message of, you know, a lack of leadership. A consistent message to say that the rules don’t apply to me. And unfortunately, when he is coming from a hot spot like Arizona where he was on Tuesday and now coming to New Jersey, he’s potentially bringing the virus with him even if he is tested regularly. Remember, he doesn’t travel alone. He travels with staff that also can travel with the virus,” Kass said on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.
But it looks like Trump will continue to forge ahead with his life as if COVID-19 doesn’t exist.
The White House said Wednesday the president will not alter his intention to travel to his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club this weekend despite having visited COVID-19 hot spots in Arizona and Oklahoma. It was just this week that New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont joined forces to require visitors from states with large numbers of COVID-19 cases to be quarantined for two weeks. If they don’t quarantine, they risk fines.
Trump administration officials have said Trump isn’t a civilian and the requirements to quarantine do not apply.
Says Kass, “I think it’s just a bad lesson for other citizens. It’s unfortunate because there’s no way we can enforce it. He’s the president of the United States and like it or not, he can do whatever he wants.”
The president’s defiance comes as several states battle a surge in the number of COVID-19 infections amid re-openings of businesses in May and June. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Thursday he would halt the state’s phased reopening in the wake of a major rise in the number of COVID-19 infections. The state has seen a successive record in the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations for the past 13 days.