He returned to the White House without having been completely cured of covid-19. “I feel better than I did 20 years ago!” Said Donald Trump elated as he left the hospital after just three days of treatment.
Despite his energy, it cannot be said that he is fully recovered and many have criticized his rapid return to the White House, where he continues with his treatment and improving, according to his doctors.
“No one who is a leader would not do what I did. And I know there is a risk, a danger, but it is okay,” he said on Monday when he returned to his residence.
On Tuesday morning the president published numerous tweets in which he ratified how good he felt and expressed his desire to return to the electoral campaign and to participate in the next debate against his rival for the Democratic Party, Joe Biden, planned for October 15 in Miami.
Despite the image of normalcy that is transmitted from the White House, Trump's decision to leave the medical center where he was treated in such a short period of time carries some important health and political risks.
BBC Mundo tells you which are three of the most important.
1.- The danger to the life and health of the president
Although Trump was authorized to leave the health center where he was being held, his treating physician, Dr. Sean P. Conley, had acknowledged on the same Monday that the president was still not out of danger.
Although he had some symptoms, Trump left the White House on his own feet last Friday.
The US president adds at least three risk factors for covid-19: he is a man, he is 74 years old and he is overweight.
Given these conditions, specialists consider that it should be under careful observation for at least the first ten days after the infection has been detected, since in this period the state of this type of patient can deteriorate rapidly.
Arguing that laws on patient privacy prevent them from being more specific, Trump's doctors have left numerous gaps on the president's state of health, including some fundamental elements such as the state of his lungs.
However, among the data they have revealed there is one that sets off alarms: the use of dexamethasone.
According to James Gallagher, BBC Science and Health correspondent, this steroid helps save lives by appeasing the patient's immune system and avoiding an excessive reaction, but it must be applied at the right time because if it is administered too soon it can worsen the things by limiting the body's ability to fight the virus.
According to Dr. Sean Conley, it will be early next week when doctors can be more confident about Trump's recovery.
“This is not a drug that you would usually give in the mild phase of the disease,” Gallagher notes.
The WHO recommends the use of steroids in “severe and critical” cases. As for Trump, his blood oxygen levels fell below 94% over the weekend, which is one of the criteria used by the National Institutes of Health to consider there is a “serious illness.”
2.- A danger to the health of others
During the weekend he was hospitalized, Trump left the hospital in an armored car to greet a group of his supporters who had gathered near the medical center.
Many specialists did not hesitate to describe the ride as “irresponsible” because, as it is a sealed vehicle, the president could be unnecessarily exposing the secret agents who accompanied him to contagion.
Now that he is in the White House, Trump's presence can expose the staff who work there to contagion, especially if, as he did on Monday when he got there, he insists on removing his mask.
Recently, many people who work or have attended the presidential residence have tested positive for covid-19.
It is estimated that there are at least 11 people in the White House infected.
White House press chief Kayleigh McEnany also tested positive for covid-19.
In response to concerns about possible infections after Trump's return, White House spokeswoman Judd Deere said they are taking “all precautions” to protect both the presidential family and the staff who work there.
But the president's medical discharge implies other health risks for all Americans and, especially, for his followers because of the messages that Trump has transmitted about his experience as a patient.
Until this Tuesday, the United States remained the country with the highest number of infected (more than 7,400,000) and deaths (more than 210,000) in the world. However, in his message to the country Trump said that the disease should not be feared and that he even felt better than 20 years ago.
Similarly, the US president boasted of the drugs and treatments developed in that country to treat covid-19 patients but, in reality, some of the drugs he received are only being administered to patients who are participating in clinical trials and a select few like Trump.
Trump's words caused concern among his critics, who say they may lead people to lower their guard against the disease.
As if that were not enough, the US president posted on Twitter and Facebook a message hinting that Covid-19 could be even less lethal than the seasonal flu.
Facebook deleted the post and Twitter hid it, because it violated its rules on misleading and potentially harmful information in relation to covid-19.
3.- The risk (and the opportunity) for your electoral campaign
According to the US press, when Trump tested positive for covid-19, some of his advisers saw an opportunity for the president to turn around the criticism received for the handling of the pandemic, as well as the indications of the Democratic Party, which accuses him of trying to minimize the severity of the disease.
Trump removed his mask upon arrival at the White House.
The proposal was that, after fully recovering, the president could rejoin the electoral campaign with an empathetic message addressed to all those American families that had been hit by the pandemic and, at the same time, offer an optimistic speech highlighting that despite the hard what is the disease if it is possible to overcome it.
This idea, however, did not get far.
In his messages after being discharged, Trump made no mention of the rest of the Americans affected by the disease, not even those who work in the White House; And instead of highlighting the dangers of the disease, he conveyed the image that it is nothing to be overly concerned about.
“It seems his campaign team did not discuss the idea with his candidate. You would hope that someone who has been through a serious health crisis would have had a lucky awakening, that they would find something religious in this, but he seems unable to do so,” he said Brendan Buck, who was an advisor to former President of Congress Paul Ryan, told The New York Times.
With his current attitude, Trump seems to have redoubled his commitment to his previous strategy, one in which the pandemic is a “Chinese virus” that will be defeated by the vaccine and medical treatments that the United States develops under his government.
That rhetoric could reinforce the negative perception that a part of the electorate has about the White House's handling of the pandemic, but it also allows it to present the disease as one of many battles that Trump has had to face and overcome during his term and that It includes the investigation into his 2016 campaign's alleged links to Russia and the failed impeachment attempt against him.
This idea was expressed by Miranda Devine in a New York Post article that Trump himself quoted on Twitter:
“If the president returns to the campaign, he will be an invincible hero who not only survived the dirty traps that the Democrats threw at him, but also the Chinese virus. He will show America that we no longer have to be afraid,” Devine wrote .
It is a speech that rejects a part of the American electorate but offers him an epic that can help to keep his captive voters mobilized.