Chaos and bewilderment: the hours of an unusual crisis

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Since Donald Trump announced his positive for coronavirus, the White House has lived in a spiral of bewilderment at a historic moment

Since President Donald Trump himself announced through his Twitter account that he had tested positive for covid-19, chaos and lack of information have reigned over a few days that could change the course of history. from the United States. This is the summary of an unusual crisis produced in an also unusual White House.

When did it become known that the president had coronavirus?

Around 1:00 a.m. on Friday (West Coast time), the president of the United States announced to the country through his Twitter account that both he and the first lady, Melania, had contracted covid-19. “Tonight, the first lady and I have tested positive for covid-19. We will immediately begin our quarantine and recovery process. We will get out of this TOGETHER ”.

Until then, the media reported that a close associate of the president, Hope Hicks, had just tested positive for coronavirus after being tested after feeling unwell. Hicks had been in direct contact with the president since the election debate against Joe Biden last Tuesday in Cleveland, Ohio, and traveled with the president aboard the Air Force One Wednesday to a rally in Minnesota.

What is the state of health of the president?

There is great uncertainty about how Donald Trump is doing. After communicating his condition, the president spent much of Friday at the White House. However, around six twenty in the afternoon, when Wall Street had already closed to avoid a collapse, the president climbed the stairs of the Marine One to go to Walter Reed Military Hospital located in Bethesda (Maryland, a half hour drive from downtown Washington). With his mouth and nose covered by a mask, dressed in a suit and tie, Trump only greeted the press with a thumbs up. According to CNN, the president’s advisers feared until the last minute that Trump would not get on the helicopter, since he did not want to be hospitalized.

The president’s personal physician, Sean Conley, said Trump was in good spirits but fatigued and that he had been medicated with a cocktail of antibodies from the pharmaceutical company Regeneron, an experimental treatment. Shortly after joining Walter Reed, the president posted a message on Twitter recorded at the White House with which he wanted to reassure Americans: “I want to thank everyone for the incredible support. I’m going to Walter Reed Hospital. I think I am doing very well, but we are going to make sure things work out. The first lady is doing very well. Thank you very much, I will never forget it ”.

However, the first medical report since the military hospital that claimed that Trump was doing “very well” left more questions than answers. Perhaps for this reason, the White House felt the need to go a little further and trying to speak from anonymous off the record He said that Friday’s session had been “very worrying” and that the next 48 hours would be “critical.” The person behind that claim was Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, who asked to be subpoenaed anonymously, but was unmasked by a camera recording the meeting.

Confusion, a lot of confusion

Conley, the president’s doctor, told reporters Saturday that Trump’s diagnosis had “72 hours.” Conley made these statements with some papers in hand, the statement prepared, presumably in detail, with what he should tell the press. If those 72 hours were such, it meant that the virus was detected by the president on Wednesday and that day the president had a rally in Nevada. Aware of the confusion that had been created, Trump’s doctor sent a statement shortly after the press appearance to clarify that he had been confused and that, instead of 72 hours, he meant “day three”, understanding that on Thursday and Friday was days one and two. The clarification did the opposite of what was desired and left the feeling that the White House was not giving clear answers about the president’s state of health.

What if Trump gets seriously ill?

The answer lies in the Constitution, in the 25th Amendment ratified in February 1967. In the hypothetical event that Trump fell seriously ill, the nation’s Vice President, Mike Pence, 61, would have to assume leadership in time. re-election race discount. In the least likely scenario, in which Pence is also incapacitated, the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, 80, would become the first female president of the United States.

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