Has Donald Trump actually recovered from COVID-19?
And if he hasn't, what does that mean for his campaign and the upcoming elections?
So, Donald Trump has finally returned from Walter Reed Hospital. And he claimed to be feeling better than he did when he was 20 years younger. But, is that really the case? Has Trump actually recovered from COVID-19? And if he hasn’t, what does that mean for his election campaign and the bid for Presidency in 2020?
It looks like Donald Trump is still struggling to breathe!
According to Trump, he is healthy and has never felt better. And in his tweet, he downplayed the Pandemic again, saying:
Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge.
Saying this when more than 210,000 people have died of the virus as of yet does not suit the situation well. However, it looks like there’s a chance that Trump might be lying here as well. Not just in terms of downplaying the pandemic, but about his own health. Firstly, there are conflicting reports among his doctors about the state of his actual health. But, a video clip recently went viral on Twitter that might just prove everyone’s doubt on Trump’s health. In the video, you can clearly see Donald Trump gasping for air:
Trump looks like he is gasping for air pic.twitter.com/4k2v4Jxlir
— Brennan Murphy (@brenonade) October 5, 2020
You might think, that still doesn’t look that bad. He is bound to have some COVID-19 symptoms, right? Well, it’s a lot more severe than Donald Trump has lead us to believe. See this other video in the thread.
Trump appears to be wincing in pain while he breathes pic.twitter.com/YKhGhu0VN0
— Brennan Murphy (@brenonade) October 5, 2020
As the video clearly shows, Donald Trump still has labored breathing. Moreover, there were some physicians and nurses underneath the tweet confirming that the President is not in good shape. Of course, these are Twitter physicians, so you have to take their comments with a pinch of salt.
As an ICU nurse, what do I see? I see a man using his accessory muscles to take a deep breath. His sternocleidalmastoid neck muscles stretching, his intercostal chest and shoulder muscles in use. Grimacing every two seconds. He still has labored breathing. pic.twitter.com/H6LbPMBJm7
— Another_Yo_Semite! ✡️ (@AnotherYoSemite) October 5, 2020
As an anesthesiologist, I 100% agree. He has that look of mild panic as well as use of accessory muscles and pursed lips (“guppy” breathing) that those of us in medicine recognize as air hunger. He is not well.
— Barb Caropreso (@barbcaropreso) October 6, 2020
By the looks of it, it’s evident that things aren’t going great in the White House. And that Trump hasn’t actually recovered from COVID-19. But, what does this mean for his election campaign?
What does this mean for Trump’s election campaign?
In short, COVID-19 just made Donald Trump’s campaign a lot harder. There’s no doubt that Trump uses a lot of strength when debating with his opponents. He screams with every muscle of his neck and whatnot. Moreover, an election campaign is physically quite draining for any candidate. And if you’re a COVID-19 recovered patient who is 74 years old and is obese, then it doesn’t really look good for you. The way he’s gasping for air, the 2020 US Presidential elections just became astronomically more difficult for Trump. He may be able to get away with it on Twitter, but the debates and public rallies are going to be a real test for number 45.
However, to truly judge how difficult it could get for Donald Trump, we have to look back into the greatest teacher of all – history.
What does history tell us about Presidents with ailing health?
The most recent President in US History who had a lot of health concerns was John F. Kennedy. However, that information only came into public knowledge decades after his assassination. JFK often needed crutches to just walk (yes!) and was on multiple medications at a time. Unlike Donald Trump, Kennedy had a number of complications. A biographer who went through Kennedy’s medical files wrote:
The Travell records show that during the 13 days in October of 1962 when Moscow and Washington brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war, Kennedy took his usual doses of anti-spasmodics to control his colitis, antibiotics for a flare-up of his urinary-tract problem and a bout of sinusitis, and increased amounts of hydrocortisone and testosterone, along with salt tablets, to control his Addison’s disease and boost his energy. Judging from the tape recordings made of conversations during this time, the medications were no impediment to lucid thought during these long days; on the contrary, Kennedy would have been significantly less effective without them, and might even have been unable to function.
Franklin D. Roosevelt – a lesson for Donald Trump
That said, the President who’s health situation resembles that of Donald Trump after his COVID-19 is indeed Franklin D. Roosevelt. FDR is the only President in U.S. history to have served an unprecedented four terms in office. However, his last term only lasted for a few months, as he passed away in 1945. However, FDR was significantly sick during his entire campaign.
He once campaigned in an open roof limousine in New York while it was raining. The secret service had to go to extra lengths to keep the President warm, as they would take breaks in-between the tours and rub his body just to keep him warm. However, he had grown too frail, old, and thin by 1945, with some not even recognizing him. And his preexisting medical conditions played a role in it, such as the alleged Polio that took away functionality from his lower body below his torso.
Therefore, history shows that Donald Trump’s health after contracting COVID-19 is a matter of national security. America has been dealt a bad hand in the past due to its Commander-in-chiefs having poor health. Hence, it is a risk that cannot be ignored. The only thing worse (for many) than Donald Trump being President could be having no President at all in the midst of a pandemic.