When then-President Donald Trump triumphantly walked up the steps of the Truman Balcony upon his return to the White House from Walter Reed and removed his face mask in an act of defiance to proclaim his victory against his personal bout with COVID-19, he was "probably" still contagious and posed a risk to staffers awaiting him inside.
Facing the cameras from the balcony, he used his right hand to unhook the mask loop from his right ear, then raised his left hand to pull the mask off his face. He was heavily made up, his face more orange tinted than in the photos from the hospital. The helicopter's rotors were still spinning. He put the mask into his right pocket, as if he was discarding it once and for all, then raised both hands in a thumbs-up. He was still probably contagious, standing there for all the world to see. He made a military salute as the helicopter departed the South Lawn, and then strode into the White House, passing staffers on his way and failing to protect them from the virus particles emitted from his nose and mouth.
That's just one disturbing detail from The Washington Post's look "Inside the extraordinary effort to save Trump from covid-19," which is adapted from the book, “Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration's Response to the Pandemic That Changed History,"
Trump had been pumped with a "dizzying array of emergency medicines," including drugs "not yet available to the public."
When Trump was hospitalized, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, "colleagues say was consumed with fear the president might die."
Yet true to form for the Trump White House, despite Trump's attendance at multiple superspreader events, his daily refusal to allow mask-wearing, to wear a mask himself, or to socially distance, Meadows apparently never even bothered to prepare a plan of action in case Trump became infected with the deadly coronavirus that, back in October had already killed 200,0o0 Americans.
"Trump's brush with severe illness and the prospect of death caught the White House so unprepared that they had not even briefed Vice President Mike Pence's team on a plan to swear him in if Trump became incapacitated," the Post reveals.
Meanwhile, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, who Rolling Stone branded as one of "The Four Men Responsible For America's COVID-19 Test Disaster," spent that October weekend in prayer.
"Had the United States been able to track" the coronavirus's "earliest movements and identify hidden hot spots, local quarantines might have confined the disease," The New York Times reported in March of 2020.
The Post reveals that "Redfield spent the weekend Trump was sick praying. He prayed the president would recover. He prayed that he would emerge from the experience with a newfound appreciation for the seriousness of the threat. And he prayed that Trump would tell Americans they should listen to public health advisers before it was too late."
"The virus had begun a violent resurgence. Redfield, Fauci, Birx and others felt they had limited time to persuade people to behave differently if they were going to avoid a massive wave of death," the Post explains. "There were few signs that weekend that Trump would have a change of heart."
Read the entire report here.