America is a Leaderless Nation

How Trump’s COVID infection exposed his poor leadership.

President Donald J. Trump recently did something over 200,000 Americans couldn’t: recover from the Coronavirus. The beginning, middle, and end of Trump’s brief but suspenseful time sick exposed what many Americans already knew: Trump is a terrible leader.
Before testing positive, Trump was well aware that he potentially acquired the virus from Hope Hicks, who had previously tested positive. Despite likely already having COVID, Trump held a fundraiser in New Jersey with many donors and few masks. If someone has possibly been exposed to COVID-19 (and therefore has a reasonable suspicion they could have this virus), the responsible course of action is to stay home and quarantine for fourteen days (as strongly recommended by the CDC) or quarantine until testing negative and being certain you aren’t sick. Unfortunately, with this president, accountability and responsibility aren’t traits to expect.
Still COVID positive but feeling better, Trump held a car parade for supporters standing outside the hospital that subjected secret service agents to the virus. Although the risk was low and both the agents and Trump wore masks, the situation was avoidable and extremely irresponsible. A CNN article shows some of the responses other secret service agents had after viewing the event. “That should never have happened. I mean, I wouldn’t want to be around them,” one secret service agent told CNN. He added, “The frustration with how we’re treated when it comes to decisions on this illness goes back before this though. We’re not disposable.” Other agents who were interviewed expressed their view on the situation as “reckless” and something they can’t just refuse to do. It’s clear that even if the agents wore masks, Trump’s narcissistic “parade” was an unnecessary risk that should’ve never occurred. CNBC highlighted the reactions many doctors had to Trump’s stunt, “a move that doctors have condemned for flagrantly disregarding precautions designed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.” Dr. James P Philips tweeted, “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.” Dr. Jonathan Reiner also took serious issue, he tweeted, “By taking a joy ride outside Walter Reed the president is placing his Secret Service detail at grave risk. In the hospital when we go into close contact with a COVID patient we dress in full PPE: Gown, gloves, N95, eye protection, hat. This is the height of irresponsibility.” A good leader should value their subordinates; Trump chose to risk their lives.
After Trump recovered from the virus, his arrogance was at an all time high. Soon to leave Walter Reed Hospital, Trump took to his Twitter account: “feeling really good,” he said. He then continued to undermine most advice and common sense about living with the virus, saying, “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. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!” Trump made it seem like COVID entails an easy recovery, something not to fear, implying that people should live their life without being concerned about COVID. His words can be taken as a reason not to wear masks or follow other COVID precautions. Additionally, the really great drugs he refers to were specific to him and his “royal” treatment as the President. Most Americans do not have access to Trump’s “really great drugs.” Aside from Trump’s irresponsible tweets, Chris Pernell of CNN demonstrated how insensitive the President was being. Pernell tragically lost her father to COVID-19 and in an opinion piece, she states, “it was like he was saying, ‘look at me. It’s not that bad. He disrespected my family’s story. And, he was spitting on my father’s grave.’” After recovering from COVID, Trump even stated that the “CDC comes out with a statement that 85% of the people wearing masks catch it.” CNN disproved Trump’s obvious nonsense.
Trump is blatantly unfit to run a country. Across the board there are countless examples of the president’s lack of ability to lead, but his COVID illness was a precise example. Disregarding the well-being of workers, abusing power in order to gloat, misleading the public to appear above the sickness, and spewing false information are all incredibly dangerous: traits of a terrible leader. Trump has allowed over 200,000 deaths to occur, and his recent actions show that number will keep on climbing. America cannot afford another 4 years of “leadership” , from this man.