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Cooke: President Trump’s diagnosis exposes delusion, privilege

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

This year didn’t need to get more contentious and uncertain. Some of us probably did not even think it could. But then President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19, inflaming the already heated national discussion surrounding the virus.

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Our educations and our very futures are being shaped by the storm that this President has refused to adequately manage.”

President Trump coming down with the virus seemed almost inevitable given the White House’s objectionable public health measures. Over 30 people connected to the White House have contracted the virus since the President’s diagnosis, according to ABC News.

Besides the executive branch’s negligence, the behavior of the President himself during this ordeal should infuriate American voters. President Trump’s reactions to his diagnosis and treatment clearly outline how disconnected he is from his constituency and how inconsiderate he is of average Americans. He is showing us everyday why we should not let him win this election.

The President has constantly been at odds with the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite being the figure in American life we should trust the most to be accurate and consistent. In June, he had an indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that did not follow public health guidelines, and in the following weeks Oklahoma recorded a high number of positive COVID-19 cases. 

In August, over four months into the pandemic, he held a press conference at the Trump National Gulf Club in New Jersey. A crowd of his supporters who had gathered there weren’t wearing masks or socially distancing, and instead of urging them to practice what he preaches, he excused their disregard for health protocols and called it a “peaceful protest.”

America has seen over 20,000 daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases since the end of March, and yet this man thinks it is appropriate to ridicule Joe Biden for frequently wearing a mask. The President’s inconsistent public attitudes are by no means a cause for the ongoing crisis in America, but they do absolutely nothing to help.

On top of his flagrant disregard for reality, President Trump is incapable of considering anybody outside of his own hairdo. When he tweeted, “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life,” he did so from inside his own bubble of resources and privilege.

He didn’t have to worry about the cost of his treatment, which was totally covered by the government. He didn’t lose his livelihood like millions of Americans. In fact, he’s already back to his routine.

The man stood on a pedestal of privilege, wealth and unequal access and told everyone else to get on his level. Instead of expressing an understanding for how this disease impacts certain demographics worse than others, the President took his own case and ignorantly applied it to every American.

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Donald Trump’s lack of empathy and disregard for reality should not be lost on college voters. Most students here at Colorado State University understand reality; we know that our safety isn’t buffered by experimental treatments and helicopter rides, compliments of the country’s purse. 

Students at CSU don’t have the privilege of pretending that COVID-19 doesn’t dominate our lives. The virus has touched on every aspect of campus life. Our education and our very futures are being shaped by the storm that this President has refused to adequately manage.

We cannot have a man like this in charge for another four years. The perspective that he represents is antithetical to our Principles of Community.

He has no integrity; he was not acting “ethically and honestly” in the presidential debate. “(Affirming) all members of our community” meant nothing to him when he retweeted a video of a New Mexico county commissioner claiming, “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” “(F)airness and equity” do not apply when he calls COVID-19 the, “crazy, horrible China virus.”

By telling everybody, regardless of individual circumstances, to not be afraid of this virus, he shows us that he is incapable of basic human empathy.

Mr. President, we don’t want to be afraid of this virus. We obviously don’t want it to dominate our lives. But it is, and it has to, unless we want to end up infected like you.

Fellow Rams, do not take this man’s advice. Don’t be blind to the reality of COVID-19. Unlike our current President, do something productive and meaningful about it, and vote Donald Trump out of office.

Cody Cooke can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @CodyCooke17.

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About the Contributor
Cody Cooke
Cody Cooke, Opinion Director
Cody Cooke is the director of the opinion desk for The Collegian and has worked for the newspaper since December 2019. He is a senior studying English and history with a concentration in creative writing. Cooke joined the opinion desk as a consistent way to sharpen his writing and to get involved with other student writers. He began as a columnist and remained a regular writer for more than a year before moving into his director position. He sees opinion writing as a rich and important combination of argumentation and journalism — a way to present facts that goes beyond objective reporting and makes a point. He also sees it as one of the most accessible platforms for any writer to start building a career. Working at The Collegian has taught him to be accountable and responsible for his own work while being proud of creating something worth sharing to a large audience. While not always easy, Cooke's time at The Collegian has been one of the most constructive and satisfying experiences of his collegiate career. 

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