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Covid-19 survivors see callousness, not compassion, in Trump’s bout with the virus

“He can still make this right,” Holmes thought.

But then Trump stood on the White House balcony Monday night, theatrically ripped off his mask while gasping for breath, and proclaimed the virus was nothing to fear.

Watching at home in Green Bay, Holmes cringed. Then he got mad.

The coronavirus is, in some respects, a great equalizer: Anyone, even the president, can get it.

But rather than bond Trump to the millions of Americans who have suffered from the virus or watched a loved one go through it, Trump’s experience with the virus has only deepened the sense of distance that some voters say they feel from a president who has consistently downplayed its severity.

In interviews, Americans whose lives have been upended by the virus said they felt disappointed that the president missed an opportunity to model responsible behavior. They expressed anger that Trump has continued to minimize the virus’s threat after receiving deluxe care that the vast majority of people can only dream of at a time when testing and treatments are running low. And they voiced fear that Trump’s words and actions would lead to more reckless behavior among his supporters.

“I wish he would just be square with the American people. But he can’t do that,” said Holmes, who spent three weeks in intensive care without access to the advanced therapies that Trump’s doctors deployed. “He says, ‘Don’t be afraid of covid. It’s not that bad.’ Well, he should see what it’s like in the real world.”

Since he got sick, Trump and his advisers have sought to portray his bout with the virus as an asset. The White House produced a dramatic video recounting his return from a weekend at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, fundraising emails touted his triumph over the disease, and Trump himself seemed to suggest his infection had been a personal sacrifice in the name of good governance.

“Nobody that’s a leader would not do what I did,” Trump said in his balcony address before reentering the White House, maskless and infectious.

Trump’s illness has only made him a better president, said Doris Cortese, 81, a fervent supporter who said she has had friends and acquaintances who have contracted the coronavirus — but who has escaped infection herself, despite wearing a mask “only when forced to do so.”

“If you’ve been there and done it, you understand better the people who are going through it,” said Cortese, who leads the Trump Republican Club of Lee County, Fla. “He has always done whatever he could to try to keep Americans safe. Now he has even more empathy.”

But that message does not appear to be resonating beyond his base. Even before Trump’s illness, polls showed strong disapproval of his handling of the pandemic, which has claimed at least 210,000 American lives. His numbers have only worsened in the days since last week’s diagnosis, with surveys showing significant majorities of Americans mistrusting the White House’s messaging — both on Trump’s health and

‘An embarrassment’: Trump tweet angers pandemic survivors

SEATTLE — Dizzy with a soaring fever and unable to breathe, Scott Sedlacek had one thing going for him: He was among the first people to be treated for COVID-19 at Seattle’s Swedish Medical Center, and the doctors and nurses were able to give him plenty of attention.

“I’m so glad that he appears to be doing well, that he has doctors who can give him experimental drugs that aren’t available to the masses,” Sedlacek said. “For the rest of us, who are trying to protect ourselves, that behavior is an embarrassment.”

COVID-19 has infected about 7.5 million Americans, leaving more than 210,000 dead and millions more unemployed, including Sedlacek. The U.S. has less than 5% of the globe’s population but more than 20% of the reported deaths.

Yet the world’s highest-profile coronavirus patient tweeted on Monday, as he was due to be released from the hospital following a three-day stay: “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. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”

He reiterated the message in a video Monday night, saying “Be careful,” but “don’t let it dominate you.”

“You’re going to beat it,” he said. “We have the best medical equipment, we have the best medicines.”

The advice fit in with Trump’s downplaying of the virus, his ridiculing of those who wear masks to protect themselves and others, and his insistence on holding rallies and White House events in contravention of federal guidelines. But emergency room doctors, public health experts, survivors of the disease and those who have lost loved ones were nevertheless aghast, saying his cavalier words were especially dangerous at a time when infections are on the rise in many places.

Marc Papaj, a Seneca Nation member who lives in Orchard Park, New York, lost his mother, grandmother and aunt to COVID-19. He was finding it tough to follow the president’s advice not to let the virus “dominate your life.”

“The loss of my dearest family members will forever dominate my life in every way for all of my days,” Papaj said, adding this about Trump: “He does not care about any of us — he’s feeling good.”

Dr. Tien Vo, who has administered more than 40,000 coronavirus tests at his clinics in California’s Imperial County, had this to say: “Oh, my Lord. That’s a very bad recommendation from the president.”

The county is a farming region along the Mexican border that, at one point, had California’s highest infection rate. Its 180,000

Trump tweet angers pandemic survivors

SEATTLE (AP) — Dizzy with a soaring fever and unable to breathe, Scott Sedlacek had one thing going for him: He was among the first people to be treated for COVID-19 at Seattle’s Swedish Medical Center, and the doctors and nurses were able to give him plenty of attention.

The 64-year-old recovered after being treated with a bronchial nebulizer in March, but the ensuing months have done little to dull the trauma of his illness. Hearing of President Donald Trump’s advice by Tweet and video on Monday not to fear the disease — as well as the president’s insistence on riding in a motorcade outside Walter Reed Medical Center and returning to the White House while still infectious — enraged him.

“I’m so glad that he appears to be doing well, that he has doctors who can give him experimental drugs that aren’t available to the masses,” Sedlacek said. “For the rest of us, who are trying to protect ourselves, that behavior is an embarrassment.”

COVID-19 has infected about 7.5 million Americans, leaving more than 210,000 dead and millions more unemployed, including Sedlacek. The U.S. has less than 5% of the globe’s population but more than 20% of the reported deaths.

Yet the world’s highest-profile coronavirus patient tweeted on Monday, as he was due to be released from the hospital following a three-day stay: “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. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”

He reiterated the message in a video Monday night, saying “Be careful,” but “don’t let it dominate you.”


“You’re going to beat it,” he said. “We have the best medical equipment, we have the best medicines.”

The advice fit in with Trump’s downplaying of the virus, his ridiculing of those who wear masks to protect themselves and others, and his insistence on holding rallies and White House events in contravention of federal guidelines. But emergency room doctors, public health experts, survivors of the disease and those who have lost loved ones were nevertheless aghast, saying his cavalier words were especially dangerous at a time when infections are on the rise in many places.

Marc Papaj, a Seneca Nation member who lives in Orchard Park, New York, lost his mother, grandmother and aunt to COVID-19. He was finding it tough to follow the president’s advice not to let the virus “dominate your life.”

“The loss of my dearest family members will forever dominate my life in every way for all of my days,” Papaj said, adding this about Trump: “He does not care about any of us — he’s feeling good.”

Dr. Tien Vo, who has administered more than 40,000 coronavirus tests at his clinics in California’s Imperial County, had this to say: “Oh, my Lord. That’s a very bad recommendation from the president.”

The county is a farming region along the Mexican border that, at one point, had California’s highest infection rate. Its

Houston Methodist offers new reconstruction technique for breast cancer survivors

Published


Some women no longer feel like they ever had breast cancer when they look in the mirror, thanks to a complex new procedure available at Houston Methodist in The Woodlands.

Breast Cancer does not run in Tana Key’s family. The occupational therapist had a normal mammogram. But not even a full year later, she began to feel what was only suspected to be a small, flared-up lymph node.


A thorough investigation in the dense tissue eventually resulted in the discovery of a small spot of Ductal carcinoma in situ — breast cancer, stage 0. But the diagnosis was not a death sentence.

After deciding to remove both breasts, a bilateral mastectomy, Key, 48, learned that precancerous cells were found in her other breast as well. She believes the early detection made it possible to prevent the potentially fatal spread.



“I chose the more aggressive surgical route because I didn’t want to have to worry anymore,” Key said.

Following the emotional experience, she turned to the Houston Methodist Institute for Reconstructive Surgery at the hospital off Texas 242 in The Woodlands, where she became the first patient there to undergo a less commonly performed, profunda artery perforator flaps procedure, also known as a PAP flap surgery with “ReSensation” technique.


The procedure involves taking excess fat tissue and small blood vessels from deep within the back of the patient’s thigh, along with donated nerve grafts, to give the woman innervated breasts that not only look but feel natural.


Now Key has not only defeated cancer, but regained sensation, confidence and peace of mind.

She praises the Houston Methodist team for their care and skill, which inspired her to return to work for the hospital system’s outpatient therapy clinic and gave her a chance