US President Donald Trump again surrounded himself with his advisers in the Oval Office on Wednesday despite not having overcome COVID-19, and described as a “blessing from God” having contracted that disease, ensuring that it will help to “cure” other Americans.
Six days after testing positive for coronavirus and less than 48 hours after leaving the hospital, Trump returned to the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak that has already infected at least nine employees of his White House: the narrow West Wing, an appendix. from the presidential residence at the end of which is the Oval Office.
“A BLESSING FROM GOD”
The president, who according to his doctors will not be out of danger until next Monday, later published a video in which he affirmed that contracting COVID-19 has been “a blessing from God.”
He said that this is how he has verified firsthand the effect of the experimental cocktail of antibodies from the pharmaceutical company Regeneron, which has been applied to less than ten people outside of clinical trials.
“For me it was not something therapeutic, it made me feel better, I call it a cure (…). And I want everyone to have the same treatment as their president,” he stressed.
Therefore, Trump explained, his government plans to urgently approve the Regeneron cocktail that was administered to him, and assured that it will be distributed free of charge.
The president, who until now had been working from the presidential residence on the second floor of the mansion, recorded his video outside the West Wing.
There, in the Oval Office, he had met shortly before with his chief of staff, Mark Meadows; his deputy director of communications and social networks, Dan Scavino, and possibly other officials, equipped with personal protective equipment, according to various press reports.
“We can interact with him from a distance and people can wear masks, glasses or gloves, or whatever is needed,” Brian Morgenstern, one of the White House spokesmen, said shortly before.
Meadows had already acknowledged a few hours earlier that Trump had pressured his advisers to go to the Oval Office on Tuesday, a request that, according to the Washington Post, his team rejected for not knowing how to guarantee a safe return to the constricted space of the West Wing. .
PART OF YOUR ELECTORAL STRATEGY
Trump's decision to return to his usual work scenario in the middle of quarantine fits with his strategy of minimizing his diagnosis of COVID-19, in an attempt to control public discourse 26 days before the elections, and lagging behind in the polls compared to the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden.
Returning to the White House on Monday, Trump asked Americans to “not fear” the pandemic or let it “rule” their lives, even though the overwhelming majority of citizens do not have access to the resources he has. had at your disposal.
Trump's doctor in the White House, Sean Conley, assured this Wednesday that the president was “great”, that “he has now been without fever for four days, more than 24 hours without symptoms, and has not needed or received supplemental oxygen since his initial hospitalization “.
Conley also said that tests of the president's blood, taken Monday, “showed detectable levels of IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2.”
That surprised some experts, because the normal thing is that these antibodies do not develop until between one and three weeks after the infection with COVID-19, although the pharmaceutical Regeneron pointed out that it is possible that the levels detected come from the experimental cocktail of antibodies that Trump received on Friday.
However, the president is impatient to resume his electoral activity, as he demonstrated by tweeting this Wednesday, in capital letters, that he has “the right to ask voters for four more years,” after reiterating his unsubstantiated accusation that the government of former President Barack Obama “spied” on his campaign in 2016.
BATTLE OVER THE PANDEMIC STIMULUS
The reason Trump went to the Oval Office was to update him on the progress of Hurricane Delta, which is heading for the southern coast of the United States, but also on talks about a possible stimulus package. according to the White House.
On Tuesday, Trump ordered to suspend negotiations with Congress to approve a new economic stimulus package for the coronavirus pandemic until after the November 3 elections, although he later tried to back down and asked the lower house to approve a second check $ 1,200 for Americans.
Meadows said on Wednesday that the White House is no longer betting on a large stimulus package before the elections, but wants Congress to approve some isolated measures, including a rescue of the country's airlines.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin began negotiating on airlines Wednesday with Lower House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, who warned that Trump's refusal to pass a comprehensive stimulus package could cost him expensive at the polls.
“(Trump) is trying to fix the terrible mistake he made yesterday, and Republicans in Congress are in free fall with him,” Pelosi told ABC News.