Trump is not the first world leader to test positive for the virus — fellow authoritarian Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Monaco’s Prince Alfred II have all been confirmed to have been infected with the illness. Johnson spent time in intensive care and his team prepared contingency plans in the case the PM did not survive.
But, along with Bolsonaro, Trump is one of the leaders who has publicly expressed scepticism about the virus’ severity. He has also repeatedly resisted taking precautions such as wearing a face mask, and as recently as this week mocked his Democratic opponent in the presidential race, Joe Biden, for wearing a mask.
In March, tapes of interviews with famed journalist Bob Woodward revealed that Trump knew that COVID-19 was more serious than his public statements suggested and that by his own admission he was “play[ing] it down” to avoid “panic.” In late September, he told a crowded campaign rally the virus “affects virtually nobody.”
Trump says he and the First Lady are in quarantine, beginning “immediately.”
UPDATE: Oct. 2, 2020, 3:49 p.m. AEST Melania Trump has tweeted that she and the president are “feeling good.”
UPDATE: Oct. 2, 2020, 10:39 a.m. BST UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson wished the Trumps a “speedy recovery” via a tweet on Friday morning.
And whenever big news breaks, it tends to take over Twitter within minutes. Surprising nobody, the president of the United States announcing via tweet that he and the First Lady have contracted COVID-19 sent what seemed like every user on the Bird Site diving for their phones.
You will recall that President Trump’s tweet came in the middle of the night on the East Coast, and there are unlikely to be any further developments until the morning, meaning that Twitter is obviously rife with speculation, conspiracy theories, and memes of various taste levels.
There’s also no shortage of attempts to game out the next few weeks, as though literally anybody has any idea what happens when a sitting president contracts a potentially deadly virus 35 days out from a presidential election he’s actively trying to undermine while behind in the polls.
Anyway, literally nobody knows how to process this right now, so here are some tweets about it.
Legit question for Trump supporters – How do I kill 30-50 COVID viruses that jump into my lungs within 3-4 mins at the rally?
big 30-50 hogs energy on twitter tonight
Click above to see reactions.
The Trump brand no doubts is strong enough to maintain the current momentum in the political space.