Over the past few months, we have watched as the number of deaths caused by COVID increase to 210,000 in the United States. When Donald Trump fell ill, many hoped this would be a wake-up call for the president to take the pandemic seriously. Trump has a notorious track record of mocking people wearing masks and downplaying how deadly the virus can be. However, this was not the case, as the president’s beliefs about the pandemic have not changed.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2020
Monday evening, Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C., released Donald Trump. They reported the president was doing well enough to finish up the remainder of his COVID quarantine from the White House. Cameras surrounded the area as his helicopter descended, and the president walked off. He used the moment as a photo op, dramatically taking his mask off on the White House balcony for all to see. He “showed off” as he inhaled some seemingly painful breaths of air. Moments after his balcony theatrics, he released a video on social media, addressed to the American people. In this video, Trump states, “Don’t let it [COVID-19] dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it.” Americans across the country were appalled by this message. Trump’s callous words demonstrate just how disconnected he is from the tragedies people have faced this year.
Those who watched the video were quick to point out that Trump was taken to a hospital 15 minutes away by helicopter. Doctors have administered three high-end drugs to him, which would cost most people hundreds of thousands of dollars. Trump continues to receive state of the art treatment from the White House, so don’t let his return fool you into thinking he is on his own. Throughout this whole process, Trump is being cared for by the best doctors in the country. Saying “Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it” is easy when you are receiving the best treatment possible. Amanda Kloots, Widow of Nick Cordero, who died earlier this year from the virus, was quick to point this out in an Instagram post of her own.
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To all the over 208,000 Americans who lost loved ones to this virus – I stand by you, with you, holding your hand. Unfortunately it did dominate our lives didn’t it? It dominated Nick’s family’s lives and my family’s lives. I guess we “let it” – like it was our choice?? Unfortunately not everyone is lucky enough to spend two days in the hospital. I cried next to my husband for 95 days watching what COVID did to the person I love. It IS something to be afraid of. After you see the person you love the most die from this disease you would never say what this tweet says. There is no empathy to all the lives lost. He is bragging instead. It is sad. It is hurtful. It is disgraceful.
Cordero was a well-known Broadway star who died on July 5th of this year from the virus. In his passing, he left behind his wife and their son, Elvis. Kloots relived the painful memories of her husband’s death with the internet, eager to inform them that Trump’s words were nothing short of “disgraceful.” She wrote about the 95-day struggle Nick had with the virus, and how she lost her husband long before July 5th. She let the world know the virus did dominate their lives. It still does, as Kloots and her son continue to morn the passing of the man they loved.
RANA ZOE MUNGIN, a beloved 6th grade social studies teacher in Brooklyn, New York, died of COVID-19.
She was 30 years old. She was turned away from an emergency room twice after initially developing a fever.
— FacesOfCOVID (@FacesOfCOVID) October 3, 2020
Kloots was not the only person to share their story about the virus’ impact on a loved one. People all over the internet opened up about their own experiences in losing family or friends to COVID. Many people either died alone in the hospital or at home when they were refused care due to full capacity. Those who did successfully recover after spending time on a ventilator returned home owing hospitals thousands of dollars. People shared their stories as a way to highlight just how cold and demeaning the president’s message was. People’s grief during this time is more than valid, and it is a shame our president continuously dismisses it for political gain.