Trump didn’t have time to be taught concerning the coronavirus in March. Eight months later, the virus cleared his schedule.


Woodward needed to know the way a lot of Fauci’s prolonged experience on illnesses like covid-19, the one brought on by the coronavirus, had been imparted to the president.

“Have you ever ever sat down alone with him and gotten a tutorial—” Woodward started.

“Sure, I suppose,” he mentioned, “however actually there’s not loads of time for that, Bob. It is a busy White Home. It is a busy White Home. We’ve obtained loads of issues taking place. After which this got here up.”

“This” referred to the pandemic that might go on to kill greater than 208,000 extra folks and infect one other 7.three million.

Considered one of that latter group was Trump himself, who was confirmed to have contracted the virus final week. This flip of occasions didn’t come as a lot of a shock: Trump’s lackadaisical method to his personal publicity to the virus was a microcosm of his full-throated effort to get the nation at massive to contemplate the pandemic as a remnant of the previous or, at the least, as a minor nuisance. The president’s refusal to commonly put on a masks each elevated his personal threat and despatched a message to different People that they need to maintain face coverings in related disdain. There’s little query that Trump’s view of masks drove a partisan divide on the topic — and doubtless contributed to crimson states’ emergence as hotbeds of recent instances through the summer time surge.

Trump has nonetheless discovered worth in his prognosis and his sequestration at Walter Reed Nationwide Army Medical Middle. Since his prognosis, he declared proudly in a video printed on Sunday, he has lastly had time to be taught concerning the virus and about covid-19.

“It’s been a really attention-grabbing journey. I realized lots about covid,” the president mentioned. “I realized it by actually going to highschool. That is the actual college. This isn’t the ‘let’s learn the guide’ college, and I get it and I perceive it, and it’s a really attention-grabbing factor, and I’m going to be letting about it.”

It’s arduous to know what to make of that declare, this concept that the one approach Trump may actually have realized concerning the virus was to place his personal life on the road and contract it. It may simply be bluster, a approach for Trump to arrange the clearly looming marketing campaign narrative that he’s newly cognizant of the second and a shining instance of how the virus will be held at bay.

It may be taken at face worth: that, for the primary time within the eight-plus months that the virus has been on our shores, Trump has sat down to really think about what the virus means to these by it. That after months of consultants like Fauci warning about how to not behave in response to the virus, Trump now appreciates the rationale undergirding these opinions.

His foray out of Walter Reed on Sunday would are inclined to undercut that latter thought, after all.

Neither of these prospects actually displays properly on the president. If Trump emerges from the hospital on Monday (as he and his crew preserve suggesting) and may credibly declare to have overcome the virus — each Trump-Tower-sized ifs — are there truly People who will see any sudden conversion on the topic as an appropriate development? Who will see the course of 2020, these months of denial adopted by an an infection, as essentially the most comprehensible and pure path towards authority on the topic? In all probability, however come on.

Trump instructed Woodward in March that he didn’t sit down with the federal government’s main professional on a once-in-a-century disaster, a pandemic that was already killing 20 folks day-after-day, as a result of he was just too busy to take action.

He wasn’t too busy to speak to Woodward 18 instances.

He wasn’t too busy to spend practically 9 hours talking at — a portion of the time he spent attending — each day briefings on the virus from his dialog with Woodward till the top of March.

And, after all, he wasn’t too busy to tune in to Fox Information, which he did repeatedly within the days and weeks after that March 19 interview.

On March 21, he tweeted an endorsement of a drug mixture geared toward treating covid-19, together with hydroxychloroquine — considered one of his first mentions of a drugs that might come to dominate Trump’s efforts to determine a silver-bullet response to the virus. The tweet was spurred by one thing he had seen on Laura Ingraham’s Fox Information program. (Ingraham would develop into a champion of the remedy, even because it was repeatedly revealed as ineffective.) Requested concerning the mixture later that day, Fauci — once more, a physician and an professional on infectious illnesses — instructed reporters that he was “not completely positive what the president was referring to.”

Fauci was interviewed by CNN on Monday morning and requested whether or not he was a part of the crew presently treating Trump’s an infection.

“I feel it’s apparent that I’ve not been concerned,” he replied. Nor, it seems, has Fauci been concerned within the advert hoc crew of tv personalities and sycophants that Trump has been listening to essentially the most attentively on the pandemic from the outset.


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