Speculation mounts about the source of President Trump's illness
The dramatic events of the last week will be studied for decades, and much information remains unknown. In the early morning of Friday, October 2, President Trump tweeted that he and the first lady had tested positive for COVID. That evening, after reports that the president was running a fever, he checked in to Walter Reed National Medical Center for treatment. Immediately, speculation began about how he caught the virus and the nature of its severity.
President Trump addressed the nation from Walter Reed Hospital October 4, 2020 (YouTube screen grab).
President Trump drove by supporters gathered outside his hospital, October 4, 2020 (YouTube screen grab).
However, as numerous Republicans in key positions also tested positive, the nature of the speculation began to change. The issue shifted from whether or not the president wore a mask to why so many important Republicans simultaneously got the virus. Among those testing positive were Trump's campaign manager, the chair of the Republican National Committee, the president's senior counselor, and two senators on the Judiciary Committee who will vote on the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett.
Lin Wood, a high-profile lawyer representing Nick Sandmann and Kyle Rittenhouse, tweeted, "Many leaders in administration of @realDonaldTrump are quarantined by what almost appears to almost be targeted strike of Covid-19." He later tweeted, "There are no coincidences. Zero. None. Hard stop." Deanna Lorraine, who ran for Congress against Nancy Pelosi, also picked up the theme of a "targeted strike" in her tweet, "Does anyone else find it odd that no prominent Democrats have had the virus but the list of Republicans goes on and on?" And Omar Navarro, a Republican politician in California, developed the theme: "1.RBG dies. 2. Trump announces he will nominate new justice before election. 3. Pelosi makes "Arrow in our quivers" comment to stop him.' Week later Trump, his top aide, his campaign manager, two Senators all come down with COVID 5. Schumer immediately requests to delay nomination." He added, "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."
Where did the infection occur? Attention turned to the Cleveland Clinic, where the presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden was held on September 29. On Friday, the city of Cleveland reported that 11 cases of COVID had been linked to the planning and set-up of the September 29 presidential debate. Some commenters on social media speculated that the Republican debate area had been saturated with the virus in a biological attack, coordinated with China.
The sudden illness of so many prominent Republicans brought to mind a mostly forgotten incident in January 2018. A chartered train carrying Republican lawmakers and their families to a retreat collided with a garbage truck that inexplicably was stranded on the track. The front car derailed, killing one person. The media displayed no interest in the story and offered no follow-up articles explaining the unlikely scenario.
Seven months before the train crash, a gunman opened fire on members of the Republican congressional baseball team, severely wounding Steve Scalise, who was then serving as House majority whip. NBC reported: "Witnesses told investigators that when the gunman arrived at the ballfield, he asked people, 'Are these the Republicans or the Democrats?'"
In the almost four years since Trump has become president, Republicans have suffered three potentially mass fatality events. The coming months may finally bring some answers about these incidents. It's time for the American people to understand what's happening to them.