As President Trump prepared to leave Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday, he tweeted this upbeat message out to the public:
‘Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump administration, some really great drugs & knowledge.’ — President Donald Trump
It got Americans fired up, all right -— although maybe not in the way that the president intended.
The phrase “Don’t be afraid of Covid” became a trending topic on Twitter (TWTR) on Monday afternoon, with many people accusing the POTUS post of being tone deaf or irresponsible, considering that close to 210,000 Americans and counting have died from COVID-19 this year, and the U.S. has recorded 7.4 million cases — leading the world in both pandemic metrics.
Don’t be afraid of covid? Tell that to the 210,000 families who have lost loved ones. To the Black, Brown and Indigenous folks disproportionately affected. With tens of millions of jobs lost and the economy tanked. Many of us isolated for months. You’re the cruelest. #votehimout https://t.co/QhM47Pa3lx
— Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore) October 5, 2020
It’s flagrantly irresponsible to say “don’t be afraid of covid” when you yourself were rightly afraid last week before you were hospitalized and received the best treatment in the world- health care you have denied millions of Americans! #SelfishTrump https://t.co/3LmNHRqaeQ
— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) October 5, 2020
@Twitter you should take this tweet down immediately.
Over 208,000 have died and 200,000 more are expected to die by end of the year and trump is saying “don’t be afraid of COVID”?!!
Such misinformation, disregard and disrespect for human life is sickening.
— ✿♥ ƗŞŁΔŇĐ🏝ǤƗŘŁ ♥✿ 🇵🇷 (@IslandGirlPRV) October 5, 2020
Can’t wait ’til Trump’s “Don’t be afraid of COVID” message is approvingly RTed by Herman’s Cain’s ghost
— Bill Corbett (@BillCorbett) October 5, 2020
What’s more, many people have reported suffering coronavirus-related health problems for months after their initial diagnosis, raising concerns about the long-term effects of the virus.
Video: Dr. Martin Makary: Trump’s COVID prognosis – here’s why I am so optimistic (FOX News)
Some supporters did respond positively to his tweet, however.
“Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life”—1000x.
Half this country—and all the media—wants you to cower and collapse into helplessness and terror.
Don’t do it. https://t.co/ccMJPnV7bd
— David Reaboi (@davereaboi) October 5, 2020
BOOM! Thank you @realDonaldTrump for confirming what all of us with rational minds have been saying for months:
“Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.”
Way to blow the shamdemic wide open! https://t.co/PUicJ57bvD
— DeAnna Lorraine 🇺🇸 (@DeAnna4Congress) October 5, 2020
“Don’t be afraid of COVID. Don’t let it dominate your life.”
— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) October 5, 2020
— Kelly Loeffler (@KLoeffler) October 5, 2020
Still, the overwhelming response on Twitter was negative, with other critics pointing out that Trump was given COVID-19 treatments usually reserved for people with more serious illness, as well as experimental therapies that most people don’t have access to. It should be noted that an estimated 30 million Americans under 65 don’t have health insurance, according to 2018 CDC data. And another 5.4 million people who were laid off from their jobs during the pandemic are uninsured, according to a July study by the Families USA advocacy group.
Plus, about 33.6 million Americans, or 24% of U.S. civilian workers, don’t have access to paid sick leave in the event that they or someone in their household gets sick.
FWIW: The average charge per COVID-19 patient requiring a hospital stay is estimated to be $73,300.
— Douglas A. Boneparth (@dougboneparth) October 5, 2020
“Don’t be afraid of Covid,” says the president who since his positive test has been hospitalized and treated with a steroid typically used for severe cases, an experimental antibody drug cocktail and a five-day course of the antiviral drug remdesivir. https://t.co/VsWsf34UE3
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) October 5, 2020
“Don’t be afraid of covid. It only took this many doctors to save me!” – Trump pic.twitter.com/Lw3PFSksFG
— Fortune Feimster (@fortunefunny) October 5, 2020
Don’t be afraid of Covid? Perhaps if one has access to a team of physicians, experimental treatments, and a four-room hospital suite (as well as doctors at home). But for everyone else, take every precaution against the disease that has already killed 1,000,000 people worldwide. https://t.co/jP7Oo5Gmmv
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) October 5, 2020
The president was expected to return to the White House at 6:30 p.m. Eastern on Monday evening, although his doctor noted he may not be “out of the woods yet.” Here is what MarketWatch has reported about the president’s health, his treatments and the potential impact of his diagnosis on the election so far.