Donald Trump Still Doesn't Care If You Die From The Coronavirus

Amanda Terkel
·Washington Bureau Chief, HuffPost
·4 min read

People who hate wearing face masks argue that they should have the freedom to get sick if they want to. It’s the same with people who refuse to get vaccinated. It’s their God-given right to take these health risks ― never mind the harm they’re doing to other people with their actions.

When President Donald Trump returned to the White House Monday night, he removed his mask on the balcony, saluted Marine One as it flew away and then walked inside ― still without a mask on his face.

In that moment, Trump made clear that he had learned absolutely nothing about coronavirus since his positive diagnosis.

By removing his mask, Trump doesn’t even have the excuse that he’s doing it because he doesn’t care or doesn’t think he will get sick. He already is sick. On Monday, he was just five days out since his positive test results. People can be contagious for up to 10 days after symptoms first appear ― perhaps even more, as his own doctor acknowledged.

All removing his mask did was show that he still doesn’t care if you die from the disease. It’s much more important to him to believe that he’s strong, and keep up his political message that everything is under control and there’s nothing at all to be afraid of in the coronavirus.

White House spokesman Judd Deere responded Monday in a statement to The Washington Post, saying the White House was taking “every precaution necessary” to protect the president and those around him.

Trump has recently showed his disregard for the lives of the people protecting him as well. On Sunday, Trump ― still sick and contagious ― left the hospital and drove by in the presidential motorcade to wave to supporters who had gathered outside.

He risked the lives of the Secret Service agents who accompanied him and any other individuals at the hospital that he encountered along the way.

“That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack,” tweeted Dr. James Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed. “The risk of COVID19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures.”

“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity,” he added.

Even before Trump became one of the more than 7.4 million Americans who have caught the coronavirus, he made clear he really didn’t care at all about what people were going through.

Of the 13 hours Trump spent talking in his daily coronavirus briefings ― which were stopped in late April after his aides argued that they were hurting his popularity ― Trump spent two hours attacking people and 45 minutes praising himself.

He spent just four and a half minutes expressing condolences for coronavirus victims.

In May, Trump said the American people “should think of themselves as warriors” in the battle to reopen the economy. (Warriors, of course, often die.)

And in March, Trump reportedly considered just letting the coronavirus sweep over the country and kill people, with those who survived then having immunity.

“Why don’t we let this wash over the country?” Trump asked, according to The Washington Post. Administration officials said he had “repeatedly” raised this scenario in conversations in the Oval Office.

All of these comments were on top of the months that Trump spent downplaying the disease ― insisting it would go away on its own by April ― and promoting quack “cures,” such as drinking bleach. (Trump has not taken his own advice and consumed disinfectants as part of his treatment.)

Trump’s supporters are cheering him along, prematurely declaring his victory over the disease.

Trump is well known for his lack of empathy. When he toured storm-damaged Puerto Rico in 2017, he told one family of hurricane survivors: “Have a good time.” That same year, when he went to Texas to address the Hurricane Harvey response, he spoke at length about what a great job he and his team were doing and made it all about himself.

Falling sick from the coronavirus has apparently not given Trump any more compassion. Instead, in a video Sunday night, he boasted that he’s now more of an expert than the experts: “I learned a lot about COVID. I learned it by really going to school. This isn’t the ‘let’s read the books’ school. I get it. And I understand it. It’s a very interesting thing.”

Related...

Trump, Still Infectious, Is Back At The White House -- Without A Mask

Trump Coronavirus Update: The Latest On The President's Health And The GOP COVID-19 Outbreak

Top U.S. General, Members Of Joint Chiefs Of Staff Quarantining After Virus Exposure

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus

Everyone deserves accurate information about COVID-19. Support journalism without a paywall — and keep it free for everyone — by becoming a HuffPost member today.

Love HuffPost? Become a founding member of HuffPost Plus today.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.