Trump has tweeted out an upbeat video about his condition
On Saturday evening, Trump, who is currently in Walter Reed Hospital, tweeted a short video addressing his current status as a Wuhan virus patient. Looking comfortable and relaxed, Trump says that he’s feeling well, is getting superb care, is aware of and appreciates the outpouring of support for him. He makes a point of saying that he will continue to work hard (with the unspoken subtext being ‘unlike a certain other politician who shall not be named’) because that’s what leaders do.
Trump appears in the four-minute video sitting at a polished wood table in a room set up to conduct business. Although he’s wearing his signature dark blue jacket and a white shirt, he has no tie. His hair is also a bit ruffled, which is a surprisingly nice look. Trump sounds the same as usual: He’s not breathless, his voice is as husky as always, he’s not coughing, and he doesn’t look unduly tired.
Trump explains that he wasn't feeling so well when he arrived at the hospital on Friday, but adds that, thanks to expert medical care, he’s feeling much better. This is consistent with Mark Meadows’s statements, also from Saturday evening, about Trump’s status:
“Yesterday, we were real concerned,” Meadows said. “He had a fever, and his blood oxygen level dropped rapidly.”
He said Trump has made “unbelievable improvement” since then: the president no longer has a fever and his oxygen saturation levels are better.
“I’m very, very optimistic based on the current results,” he said, cautioning that the doctor said, “he’s not out of the woods for the next 48 hours or so.”
Trump identifies with other Wuhan virus sufferers around the world. He then expresses gratitude for the medical care he’s getting -- it’s “miracles coming down from God” when it comes to medical treatment, he says. Trump knows that the next few days are determinative but, typically for Trump, he’s optimistic.
The office setting is important. Trump explains that nothing’s going to stop him from working, and that’s patently true. Amusingly, at the same time that Trump is saying that he’s continuing to work as usual, the Twitter “trending” sidebar has promoted a Bloomberg Opinion piece imagining “What happens if Trump is unable to govern”:
Because there’s no tweet count under the squiblet, it’s apparent that Twitter, not Twitter users, is pushing the article, which is a leftist fantasy. There are no current facts that support this fantasy.
According to Trump, he could have stayed locked in the White House and just had a peaceful recovery without seeing anyone, without setting foot in the Oval Office, and without working. Take a break, though, is not Trump’s style.
“I can’t do that,” he says in the video. “I had to be out front and-- This is America. This is the United States. This is the greatest country in the world. This is the most powerful country in the world. I can’t be locked up in a room upstairs, and totally safe, and just say, ‘Hey, whatever happens, happens.’ I can’t do that.”
One can’t help thinking that Trump is not only reassuring the American people that he’s still on the job but that he’s also taking a swipe at Biden, who, although seemingly healthy, is staying locked up, doing as little as possible. Indeed, when Trump continues his discussion about his obligations, those apparent jabs against Biden seem even more pointed.
“We have to confront problems,” Trump states. “As a leader, you have to confront problems. There’s never been a great leader that would have done that [hidden away].”
Take that, Basement Biden!
Trump ended his little video by saying that Melania sends her regards to the American people and is doing well. Trump even makes a joke about the fact that, because Melania just a little younger than he is, she’s doing very well.
Within only six hours of its release, the video had garnered almost 20 million views on Twitter, with half a million likes. Both numbers kept increasing, even as I watched the video. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people have watched the same video on YouTube, where it’s been re-posted dozens of times. As of now, over 123,000 alone have watched the Guardian’s re-post.
The fact is that, if Trump recovers from this quickly and completely, he’ll be in a better position than he was before. Unlike Biden, who remains at risk of catching the Wuhan virus, Trump is now presumably immune. Moreover, his recovery will be vivid proof that the virus is no longer the deadly scourge it was in the Spring. Science has finally caught up with it.
I will continue to keep Trump and the other Republicans diagnosed with the Wuhan virus in my prayers. I hope that all of them recover swiftly and without incident.
Image: Trump's statement from Walter Reed. Twitter screengrab.