After Donald Trump was hospitalized on Friday, among the questions facing the nation was how long the president would be at Walter Reed. This afternoon, he made an announcement via Twitter about his plans.
"I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. 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 [and] knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!"
To be sure, the competition is fierce, but this might be the single most dangerous thing Trump has ever tweeted.
The president wants the people of his own country not to "be afraid" of a deadly virus that's already claimed the lives of nearly 210,000 Americans?
There's a significant percentage of the population that, for whatever reasons, is under the impression that Trump knows what he's talking about. These people are now being told that if they get infected, they'll be treated with "really great drugs [and] knowledge," and ultimately feel the best they've felt in 20 years.
For now, let's assume the best-case scenario for the president. Let's say he feels great, and will continue to feel great, in the coming days, weeks, and months. Let's also say he's on a recovery trajectory, which will continue without interruption. What should his followers take away from this prognosis?
Not much. Those weighing whether or not to be "afraid" of the coronavirus should probably consider this checklist:
Do you have a team of highly trained medical professionals standing by, in your home, 24 hours a day, ready to respond to all of your health care needs, for free?
Do you have a helicopter standing by, ready to whisk you away to a world-class medical facility at the first sign of symptoms, also for free?
Do you have immediate access to experimental medicines and treatments, each of which will be administered to you for free?
Will you receive treatment from a luxury, multi-room hospital suite, staffed by world-class medical professionals, who will tend to your every need, 24 hours a day, for free?
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, it seems remaining "afraid of" the deadly virus is the responsible way to go.