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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Trump Boasts Of His Superior Medical Care As President, Downplays Virus As Cases Rise

Topline

President Trump on Tuesday cast coronavirus as an afterthought while boasting of the quality medical treatment he received when he contracted the disease, playing into criticism from Democrats that his experience, which he is casting as representative of how the disease can be easily triumphed over, in fact underlines privileges that few enjoy.

Key Facts

Trump told supporters at a rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania that “one great thing about being president” is the quality of his medical care, stating “if you’re not feeling 100%, you have more doctors than you thought existed in the world.”

Trump said he was “surrounded with like fourteen of them,” during his treatment for Covid-19, listing the world-class medical institutions from which his doctors hailed including Johns Hopkins University and Walter Reed.

Trump also repeated his claim that the U.S. is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic, even as cases have risen to their highest level since August, with hospitalizations also reaching their highest level since early September.

Trump has attempted to seize on his quick recovery as evidence that he was right to downplay the pandemic, urging supporters not to fear the virus and not to “let it dominate you.”

But commenters noted that Trump’s experience was highly unique given that the government has a duty to keep him healthy at all costs, with the Centers for Disease Control acknowledging Covid outcomes depend greatly on access to health care, race, housing and economic factors.

Key Background

As early as Aug. 31, Trump told supporters during a virtual Nevada tele-rally that the U.S. was “rounding the final turn on that disaster given to us by China,” and he has said some version of that on 25 of the last 43 days since. His remarks have often been based on his stated belief that a vaccine will be approved imminently and can be distributed to most Americans before the end of the year, but medical experts and his own public health officials have a much longer timeline.

Big Number

214,446. That’s how many Americans have died from coronavirus from nearly 7.8 million cases, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control. The U.S. reported 338 new deaths and 46,614 new cases on Tuesday.

Chief Critic

“I prayed for his recovery when he got Covid. And I hoped he’d at least come out of it somewhat chastened,” Democratic candidate said during a campaign stop in Florida on Tuesday. “But what has he done? He’s just doubled down on the misinformation he did before and making it worse.”

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