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President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19. Here’s a look at where he traveled the week before his diagnosis.

USA TODAY

While the nation watches and waits to see how President Donald Trump will fare as he’s treated for COVID-19, doctors say there are lessons the American people can learn from his infection in the midst of a pandemic that has so far killed more than 200,000 Americans and infected 7.3 million. 

Key among them is that no one is invulnerable to a disease that doesn’t pick and choose whom to infect based on political affiliation or status.

“I remain eternally optimistic that this will be the week that more Americans recognize the severity of this epidemic and just how many more Americans might die this fall and winter, and begin to take greater responsibility for it,” said Dr. Theodore J. Iwashyna, director of health services research and an associate professor of internal medicine, pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Theodore J. Iwashyna, director of health services research and associate professor of internal medicine, pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Michigan and research scientist at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. (Photo: University of Michigan Health System)

“I hope that some will do so and I hope that our leaders will use this as an opportunity to remember that this is about a virus whose transmission can be reduced, not as an excuse to score political points.” 

Trump announced early Friday morning that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. 

Nearly a dozen others who were in close contact with the president or other White House officials also have tested positive for the virus, leaving the nation reeling just a month from Election Day. 

Dr. Trini Mathew, an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist for Beaumont Health, said the Trumps are getting the highest-quality medical care, and it’s not time to panic. But, she said, it is time for ordinary people to take a hard look at their own lives, and do what they can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

“This news just shows that the virus can infect anyone, and therefore we need to be serious,” she said. “It’s not just protecting ourselves as an individual, but it is also protecting others around us. This is what this news headline is showing us, right? One person around the POTUS being positive, and then potentially infecting others.

Dr. Trini Mathew, (Photo: Beaumont Health)

“That’s exactly what we know with infections and viruses. … They get transmitted from one person to another person. And I hope that this is a good reminder for all of us to think about it. This pandemic is not over. This is a serious disease.”

Wear a mask, social distance 

The president is being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and his physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said Saturday that he is “doing very well.”