6, October 2020
US: Democrats slam Trump for setting ‘dangerous’ example as infected president returns to White House 0
US President Donald Trump has come once again under scrutiny for downplaying the seriousness of the coronavirus — this time his own illness — as he returned to the White House after less than three nights in hospital for COVID-19 treatment, calling on people not to be afraid of the virus that has killed more than 210,000 people in the US.
Democrats have slammed Trump of rushing his release for the sake of politics, accusing him of politicizing his illness, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying he might become “a long-hauler”, someone who experiences longer-term consequences.
“He should not be dealing with it politically to make it look like he overcame the virus because he’s had such good policies,” Pelosi said. “He has been very destructive and dangerous to the country.”
Trump was admitted to the Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday after being diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
He left the hospital on Monday and went back to the White House, where he is expected to continue his recovery, according to his doctor.
The president tweeted before leaving the hospital that he “will be back on Campaign Trail soon.”
“Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it,” Trump said in a recorded video message.
“We’re going back, we’re going back to work. We’re going to be out front. … Don’t let it dominate your lives. Get out there, be careful,” Trump said.
His campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said the president plans to participate in the second presidential debate, to be set in Miami, on October 15.
This has raised concern among health experts, including within his own administration, and drew criticism from politicians, including both Democrats and Republicans, who described his latest remarks on the disease as “irresponsible” and “shocking.”
“COVID-19 is something that is killing a lot of people. And it’s definitely a threat to people’s overall health,” said Otto Yang, a professor of infectious disease at the University of California.
“I think it’s up to the individual to judge if that’s something to be afraid of or not,” he added.