The health of President Donald Trump is extremely concerning, and we wish him the very best, as we do his wife and all of those in his administration and all of the lawmakers who are infected with COVID-19.
Of course, we wish the best for everyone who is ill, but Trump’s illness weighs heavy and much of our concerns are because of the poor communication about his health.
The press conference on Saturday did little to alleviate our concerns. Trump’s physician at Walter Reed Medical Center gave conflicting — and confusing — information, even as White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ media release indicated the president was more ill than had been announced.
To confuse the issue further, Trump left the hospital on Sunday, leading many of us to believe he was being released. However, he returned to the hospital after a brief ride around town to show the public he’s doing well.
Based on past behavior, we believe the president was trying to avoid looking weak by being in the hospital. We believe he tried to control the flow of information from his hospital bed in another effort to avoid looking weak.
Being ill isn’t a weakness; it’s human. We believe the president’s well-being is more important than appearances. As journalists and U.S. citizens, we just want the truth. We can handle it. When we get conflicting reports, we know someone is fibbing. That destroys the credibility of the administration. We need to know our elected officials are telling the truth, especially about serious issues such as the health of our president.
We hope Trump’s COVID-19 case has driven home the point that the virus is real, it is serious and everyone must do their part to contain it. That means always wearing a mask in public, social distancing and staying home as much as possible. We also hope it has driven home the point that we must listen to experts — in this case, scientists — to defeat the virus.
But it also drives home this point: Transparency is mandatory.