On Friday, Oct. 2 President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced their positive COVID-19 diagnoses, hardly a week after hosting the ‘Super-Spreader’ Rose Garden event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
Several high-profile guests who were present at the White House ceremony have since tested positive for the virus. U.S. Senator Mike Lee was among the first following the event to report being infected. University of Notre Dame president John Jenkins, a colleague of Judge Barrett, issued an apology after contracting COVID-19.
Friday evening Trump was seen boarding the Marine One helicopter and was transported to the Walter Reed Medical Center where he reportedly continued attending to his presidential duties over the subsequent few days.
At Walter Reed, Trump was administered Remdesivir and Dexamethasone, which function to combat particularly aggressive cases of COVID-19.
The news came after months of the president publicly touting misinformation about the pandemic, denouncing the use of masks, and refusing to observe social distancing guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at White House events or at his rallies.
Dr. Constance Mixon, director of the urban studies program at Elmhurst University, expressed to The Leader her exasperation with Trump’s efforts to downplay the virus. “Even as we’ve reached over 200,000 dead, [he] has tried to change the subject in the campaign away from that,” Mixon said.
“He said… at the Al Smith dinner that the end of the pandemic is in sight, and a few hours later he tests positive,” Mixon continued. “It’s extremely damaging [to his presidency].”
As of Monday, Oct. 5 Trump has returned to the White House, although he will continue with his treatment regimen. White House physician Dr. Sean Conley told reporters that Trump is, “not yet out of the woods.”
White House physicians have repeatedly declined to disclose further information concerning Trump’s health, citing HIPAA patient privacy protections.
Numerous White House officials have recently contracted COVID-19 alongside Trump, including a close advisor to the president, Hope Hicks, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and body man Nicholas Luna.