By Administrator_ India
One month from Election Day, President Donald Trump is facing a credibility crisis as yawning as his health crisis, at a moment when he needs the public’s trust the most.
The president’s coronavirus infection, as well as the illnesses of several aides and allies, has imperiled the highest levels of the U.S. government. The White House’s efforts Saturday to project calm backfired in stunning fashion, resulting in a blizzard of confusing and contradictory information about the health and well-being of the commander in chief. A cleanup effort on Sunday did little to increase confidence, with Trump’s doctor saying he was trying to project an “upbeat attitude” while also revealing new details about the president’s condition that he had not previously disclosed.
It’s a moment months in the making, the collision of Trump’s repeated defiance of his own administration’s guidelines for staying safe during the pandemic and his well-known disregard for facts. The result: deep uncertainty for Americans over whom and what to believe about the health of the nation’s leader at a perilous moment in U.S. history.
On Saturday, the White House tried to fill in the details with a televised briefing by Trump’s physician, who painted a sunny picture of the president’s situation, emphasizing that he was still working, walking on his own and not laboring to breathe. But Dr. Sean Conley notably refused to provide some specific details, including repeatedly sidestepping questions about whether the president had at any point required oxygen.
Shortly after, and off camera, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows gave journalists a more troubling depiction. After describing Trump’s symptoms as “mild” the previous day, Meadows now said the president’s situation had been “very concerning.” Though his health was improving, Meadows said the next 48 hours would be critical.
On Sunday, Conley conceded that he had been trying to be “upbeat” in his assessments. But his second briefing revealed how much he had withheld: the fact that the president had required supplemental oxygen on Friday morning and that the president was given steroids because of a second drop in oxygen levels on Saturday. Conley said Sunday that he didn’t know whether Trump required supplemental oxygen on Saturday and that he would have to ask the nurses. He also sidestepped questions about the results of Trump’s lung scans.
Still, Conley said the president could be discharged from Walter Reed as soon as Monday.
“These are the patterns of this presidency, and for Trump, the patterns of a lifetime,” said Peter Wehner, a Republican who served in President George W. Bush’s administrations and a Trump critic. “There’s no reason to believe he or his inner circle are going to change.”