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‘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

Carroll Couny passes COVID-19 milestone; health officer concurs with Trump tweet, stresses social responsibility

On the same day President Trump issued a tweet that said, in part, “Don’t be afraid of Covid,” Carroll County passed a milestone with more than 2,000 total cases of COVID-19 reported.

The 22 new cases announced by the Carroll County Health Department brought the county’s overall number to 2,007. That represents nearly 1.2% of Carroll’s population, a rate that is roughly half the national average. Additionally, 147 Carroll countians have died of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Trump, diagnosed with COVID-19 last week, tweeted Monday afternoon, in announcing he would soon be leaving the hospital and returning to the White House, “Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.”

County Health Officer Ed Singer concurred with the theme of Trump’s message, while emphasizing that everyone has a “social responsibility” to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“I would agree with the point that Donald Trump makes in that we should not be afraid and let COVID-19 dominate our lives; however, we continue to have a responsibility to protect each other from a potentially deadly virus that has killed over 209,000 Americans,” Singer wrote in an email to the Times in response to a question about the president’s tweet. “Although some people are able to recover from this disease, many people suffer serious complications, are hospitalized, and some people die.

“We have a social responsibility to each other to take common sense steps to avoid getting others sick. Continuing to follow distancing requirements, wearing masks over our mouths and noses, avoiding large gatherings, and washing our hands are critical to doing our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”

Of the 22 cases announced Monday, 11 of them were reported before the end of Saturday. The preliminary total of community cases for last week was 58. That was up from 44 the previous week and 54 the week before that.

The county is approaching Carroll County Public Schools’ planned date of Oct. 19 to switch to a partly in-person model. Singer and CCPS officials have said they would like to see Carroll in the “moderate” risk of COVID-19 transmission before reopening schools. That would mean a a weekly rate of 42 cases, based on U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, and would include cases originating from congregate living facilities, though only six such cases have been reported for September. Carroll has been under 42 community cases in only two of the past 12 weeks. Carroll’s current seven-day rolling positive rate is 2.10.

While Carroll saw an uptick in cases last week, McDaniel College announced Monday morning that it was reducing its COVID-19 alert level after going a week without a case. McDaniel, which has had 15 positive results out of 2,018 total tests of its campus population since Aug. 14, had moved to Yellow level last Monday, Sept. 28, after four positive tests, but has seen none since and is back to Green.

“We are