Corona chaos around the US president: Big Trump show: Why his questionable car appearance was a logical consequence
His condition was more serious than initially presented – but US President Trump does not like to show weakness. After several video messages, the corona patient is now even outside the hospital. Dealing with his illness raises questions – and fits into the picture of his politics.
Donald Trump sits in a black SUV and waves to fans who stand behind metal bars and wave campaign flags. Not an unusual sight in and of itself – after all, the Americans will elect a new head of state in around four weeks. But Trump is sick. On Friday he tweeted: “Tonight Melania and I tested positive for the coronavirus. We will start our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We’ll get through this together!”
For many, the drive, which the US President announced in a video message as a “surprise visit”, is an expression of gross irresponsibility. After all, Trump has been hospitalized in the Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda for a few days. Dr. James Phillips, a doctor at the clinic, told the “Tagesschau”: “Every single person in the vehicle must be quarantined for 14 days during this completely unnecessary drive by the president.” And further: “You could get sick. You could die. Because of political theater.”
Phillips isn’t the only one who accuses Trump of ignorance and selfishness. Other medical professionals and US senators are also outraged. Because just a few minutes before his excursion, the US President announced that he had learned a lot about the virus and how to deal with it through his corona infection. “This is the real school,” he emphasized with a view to his illness. Nevertheless, the US president sat in the black SUV on Sunday to wave to his supporters through the armored glass windows of his car.
Surf tip: You can find all the news about the corona pandemic in the news ticker from FOCUS Online
US expert Jäger: “The President conducts Politainment”
The “Trump Show”, it seems, must go on. US expert Thomas Jäger confirms this in an interview with FOCUS Online: “The President operates Politainment. He speaks directly to his supporters and has to be constantly present, also up to date. You could say: almost at any price.” The price, on the one hand, is the health of the other SUV occupants. At least two other people were in the car with Trump. The Democratic Senator Brian Schatz therefore accused the US president of endangering his own security people: “You are aware of the risk associated with the job, but the risk should not come from the person you are protecting.”
On the other hand, the US president is also putting his own wellbeing at risk. “The office has priority over health,” says Jäger. For several days after his illness became known, there is still uncertainty about how things really stand with Trump. The White House published the first health report on the US President on Friday, according to which he is doing well. A little later, however, the New York Times wrote that Trump had a high fever, was coughing and feeling weak. At times there was also talk of oxygen hoses.
Trump was transferred to the Walter Reed Hospital, his doctor Sean Conley said on Saturday that his condition was stable. Then Chief of Staff Mark Meadows stepped in. “The president’s vital signs have been very worrying for the past 24 hours and the next 48 hours will be critical to his further treatment,” he told reporters waiting at the hospital. Trump’s doctor Conley admitted on Sunday that the US president had indeed suffered from a high fever. However, it was later said that he might be able to return to the White House on Monday.
“From this jumble we can see: The White House wanted to keep control of history and has crashed,” says US expert Jäger. This may have been due to the doctors’ lack of media experience, but also to the time pressure. According to the political scientist, Trump ultimately took control of communications back in the form of video messages, images and the SUV trip.
“Trump knows himself that very many no longer believe him”
How fit the president is despite Corona has been documented by various recordings since Friday. On it: Trump sitting at a large wooden table and leafing through his documents. Trump putting his signature on a piece of paper. The photos are complemented by a video that the US President published on Twitter on Saturday. “When I came here, I didn’t feel so good. Now I feel a lot better,” he says in it. And further: “I think I’ll be back soon.”
For hunters, the SUV campaign is even a logical consequence of Trump’s political strategy. “The president himself knows that very many people no longer believe him. That means he has to show that he is okay and prove that the recordings are true. Politicians usually associate illness with weakness. There are quite a few of US presidents who lied about their health, “says Jäger. As an example, he cites John F. Kennedy, who suffered from back pain and often took pain pills. His illness only became known after his term of office.
“Nobody can replace Trump and keep his show going”
“In addition, the Republican election campaign is based solely on the character Trump. He was the locomotive and she derailed. Nobody can replace Trump and keep his show going. That’s why he’s trying to get back on track as soon as possible,” says Hunter. According to the expert, the US president has not only campaigned for the past four years, but not just recently. “In his mind, Trump speaks directly to the population, he always wants to reach his supporters and shape their thinking. This shows, among other things, his constant presence on Twitter,” says Jäger. Even now he is doing everything possible to continue the “Trump Show”.
Because the Covid infection comes at a very inopportune time for the US President. The Americans will vote in four weeks, many have long rated Trump’s corona crisis management as catastrophic. “Before that, he tried to talk his way out of the subject because he knew exactly: People give him a bad report,” says Jäger. Now that Trump has infected himself, he has no choice but to show people: “I know exactly how it is, I won’t let myself get down.”
How much truth is behind this painstakingly constructed image remains to be seen.
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