WATCH: Trump Tells Americans Not To Let COVID-19 ‘Dominate’
President Donald Trump encouraged Americans on Monday night not to allow COVID-19 to “dominate your lives” after returning to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he stayed for three days following his coronavirus diagnosis.
“Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it,” Trump, without a mask, said in a taped video. “You’re going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment. We have the best medicines, all developed recently. Don’t let it dominate. Don’t let it take over your lives. Don’t let that happen.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2020
The president has consistently downplayed COVID-19, which has claimed the lives of more than 210,000 Americans, and even suggested that he had immunity from the virus.
“Nobody that is a leader would not do what I did. And I know there’s a risk, there’s a danger, but that’s ok,” Trump said. “And now I’m better. Maybe I’m immune. I don’t know. But don’t let it dominate your lives. Get out there. Be careful. We have the best medicines in the world.”
His re-election rallies have violated social distancing and maximum attendance restrictions in several states, and many attendees at his events have been pictured without masks.
Several people within the administration have tested positive, it appears some cases may be linked to a White House reception for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
“We don’t know that it’s a superspreader event for sure, but it certainly has all the makings of one,” Joseph Allen, a public health researcher at Harvard, told Vox. “When you have large numbers of people spending time in close contact, unmasked, and indoors, it’s a recipe for superspreading.”
And then came the Rose Garden announcement. A mask-less assemblage of Republican leaders sat close outdoors & mingled indoors at the WH. This included the nominee, her family, Senators, the AG, media personalities, etc. It has now been recognized as a “super-spreader” event. pic.twitter.com/451IBj2nRS
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) October 5, 2020
At least eight people who attended the event, in addition to the president, have tested positive for coronavirus: First Lady Melania Trump; former adviser Kellyanne Conway; Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah); Sen. Thom Tillis, who was one of the few to don a face mask; White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany; former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins and California pastor Greg Laurie.
The president insisted that he felt “better than 20 years ago” after receiving treatment from doctors at Walter Reed in Bethesda, Md., where he was transported on Friday after being diagnosed with the virus.
Trump has been afforded top-notch care at Walter Reed, the sort that is not available to average Americans. According to his doctors, the president has taken the antiviral medication remdesivir, the steroid dexamethasone and an experimental antibody cocktail made by Regeneron.
Trump is expected to receive a fifth and final dose of remdesivir at the White House on Tuesday and will continue to receive dexamethasone, which is used to reduce inflammation.
Meanwhile, a growing number of individuals in the president’s orbit have tested positive, including White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Many individuals who attended a White House event to recognize Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett late last month have tested positive for the virus.