Covid-infected Donald Trump removes mask before bizarre White House statement
Hopes that his own diagnosis would lead to a more serious stance on the virus have, so far, been severely unfounded
Less than a week after testing positive for Covid-19, US president Donald Trump returned to the White House on Monday night, appearing short of breath and visibly ill as he performed a bizarre staged display of strength.
When Trump tested positive for the virus last week, many commentators had hoped against hope that his own experience of the disease would see him take a more serious approach to the pandemic, one which may even trickle down to his adoring acolytes.
Instead, it would appear that Trump is using his positive test as an opportunity to show strength, however ill-fated and transparent that show is.
Upon his return to the White House, Trump removed his mask before stepping inside. It is worth noting that doctors have said that Trump "is not out of the woods" and that he has also not completed his Covid-19 treatment.
It is also worth noting that as of Monday, White House spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany had tested positive herself, as well as two of her aides.
Shortly after getting back to the presidential residence, Trump's social media team uploaded a video to his accounts, in which he appeared to frame his diagnosis as some kind of battle from which he had emerged victorious.
"We're going back. We're going back to work. We're gonna be out front. As your leader I had to do that. I knew there's danger to it but I had to do it," he said.
"I stood out front. I led. Nobody that's a leader would not do what I did. I know there's a risk, there's a danger."
In bizarre language that many health professionals and political commentators fear will be counterproductive in America's ongoing battle to stem the rise in Covid-19 cases, Trump floated the idea that he may actually be immune to the virus, despite appearing visibly affected by it.
He said: "Now I'm better and maybe I'm immune? I don't know. But don't let it dominate your lives. Get out there, be careful."