Optical Disaster: President Trump, First Lady Melania Test Positive for COVID-19
United States President Donald Trump announced late Thursday night and confirmed via permission of his personal physician that both he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19. The announcement came just hours after it was revealed that top Trump advisor, Hope Hicks, had tested positive for COVID-19.
Beyond medical implications and possible outcomes for President Trump who turned 74 in June, the development is an optical nightmare for the Trump reelection campaign that arrives in the final month of the 2020 Presidential race, at the conclusion of a calendar year that has seen a politicized division in the nation between Trump’s supporters who have downplayed and debunked concerns about the virus and his opponents who remain sharply critical both of Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and of the nonchalance of Trump’s base of support regarding the seriousness of the disease.
“Tonight, FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Trump tweeted.
Dow Jones futures plunged sharply on news of Trump’s COVID positive diagnosis, with the stock market expected to lose 500 points or more at Friday’s opening bell. For starters.
Commentator and radio host Shad Olson, despite being a staunch supporter of the Trump Presidency has been a rare contrasting conservative voice on the issue of the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying the virus as an intentional Chinese bioweapons release in published reports as early as January 13th and calling on both Trump and Trump’s fervent base of supporters to avoid predicted pitfalls both political and humanitarian in downplaying the severity of the virus. The potential backlash of a Trump COVID-19 diagnosis and illness was just one of several outcomes Olson identified as “nightmare” political scenarios with potentially disastrous connotations for Trump’s reelection chances.
As large portions of the Trump base divorced themselves entirely from data regarding infection and lethality rates of the disease, Olson warned against reflexive debunking of a Chinese viral release that exonerated that Communist nation and their Deep State collaborators of a deliberate attack on America to scuttle Trump’s economic brilliance and nearly guaranteed chances for reelection. Olson predicted that deprived of any statistical accountability whatsoever, there would be large numbers of Trump supporters who would eventually convince themselves that the virus itself was a hoax and that it didn’t exist at all.
“By September of this year, Trump’s base will have convinced themselves there is no virus. And by March of 2021, President Joe Biden will be convincing the world that there never was a legitimate President Donald Trump,” Olson said in February.
By September of this year, Trump’s base will have convinced themselves there is no virus. And by March of 2021, President Joe Biden will be convincing the world that there never was a (sic) legitimate President Donald Trump,
–Shad Olson, February 3, 2020
“Once you’ve decided that none of the numbers matter or that you’re dismissing the statistics of a pandemic that has remained remarkably consistent in nations around the world, there is no bottom to that dialogue except to decide that the virus itself is a fake. And that leaves both the Trump administration and the Trump populist resurgence in America open to massive criticism and political backlash when the reality of a Chinese attack comes home to roost.” Olson said.
Internal polling numbers by the Trump campaign of both senior citizens and suburban college educated women have consistently shown significant loss of support for President Trump on the issue of his viral response, even among those who voted for him in 2016 over Hillary Clinton.
“In a year of political hoaxes by the Democrats, the dominant narrative response by Trump’s base has repeatedly been to uncover the hoax and debunk the version of events put forward in the mainstream press,” Olson said.
“But in the case of COVID-19, debunking the virus and downplaying the severity only accrues to the benefit of Communist China and their Deep State collaborators that colluded in this plot against the world, against the American economic resurgence and against Donald Trump’s reviving of the American engine of commerce. It’s a losing narrative politically and it carries no benefit in actually defeating the virus,” Olson said.
“It has been a narrative rush to no man’s land that my fellow Trump supporters obviously believed would diminish blame against the President they love in a time of crisis. But it has achieved exactly the opposite of that objective. Because it isn’t rooted in reality. And it may as well have been formulated by propagandists in Beijing hoping to alleviate perceived world blame against the Chinese for an obvious attack on the world and on the fortunes of Donald Trump.”