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COLUMN: Trump’s COVID-19 Diagnosis Says More About You Than It Does About Him

OPINION: Jessica Szilagyi opines on the fact that people are delighting in the recent COVID-19 diagnosis for President Trump.

The following column is an opinion piece and reflects the views of only the author and not those of AllOnGeorgia.


I can’t comprehend delighting in the fact that the President has tested positive for COVID-19.

I see nothing delightful, ironic, funny, coincidental, rewarding, redeeming, or Karma-esque about it. It isn’t about campaign rallies or who visits the White House – we all know someone who did nothing but stay home and have groceries delivered and they still contracted COVID-19. It does no good to speculate how it was contracted or by whom.

None of that changes the fact that Donald Trump is the President of the free world. It does not change that his sickness, a perceived weakness, or, God forbid, his death, would be devastating to the nation, the economic stability, and so much more – not because he’s Donald Trump, but because he’s the President of the United States. 

Perhaps, more importantly, it doesn’t change that he is a human being. I have dreaded every time an elected official has tested positive for COVID since all of this began, simply because partisanship has decided whether or not people are deserving of well wishes, something that even my cynical self never thought we would see. 

But Trump is undoubtedly one of the most polarizing of elected officials, so the worst tactics are amplified and magnified. Nevertheless, I find it reprehensible that an individual’s health diagnosis has, within less than 12 hours of being reported, been integrated into a game of political chess. Some pundits and activists have been really vocal about the conflict over which approach to take:

Option A: “Are his supporters worried about his health? Why? Republicans have largely shrugged off the virus, the data, etc. If it isn’t a big deal, they shouldn’t be worried.”

Option B: “I’m going to recirculate every statement made by Trump – seriously or sarcastically – over the last 7 months. Yes, it’s true I’ve spent the better part of the year claiming the virus needs more attention, that it’s destructive and deadly, and that no one deserves to get it…but catty and funny quips on the internet will definitely make me feel better because I hate Trump.”

Option C: “Let’s just sit back and hope for the worst.” 

We could spend hours hashing out the intricacies of how this pandemic has been handled, how it should have been handled, money>life, money<life, THE ECONOMY!, the data, the experts, critical infrastructure, THE SCIENCE!, mask mandates, and so much more, but that would not be a good use of our time because the problem here is very simple to describe: humanity is circling the drain. 

How a virus has transformed into a political issue is beyond me, but the reality is that it is polarizingly political and the reality is front and center. It is unpopular for people to hold different beliefs and there are plenty of people in America who think political views transcend every other component of an individual. They believe 

I’m not saying that people having personal lives means they should be free of criticism and opposition. In fact, just the opposite is true. But what’s also true is that a person can be a political figure and a human being at the same time and only the worst of those among us are on this earth to wish ill on other human beings. Trump did not contract COVID-19 because he’s an elected official or because he is a Republican or because you wished he would so you could make a point. He has COVID because he’s a human being and COVID is a virus transmitted by other humans. 

If that sounds robotic, then I accurately articulated the point.No description available.

I didn’t vote for Donald Trump in 2016. During his tenure, I have found myself shaking my fist at his actions as often as I have muttered ‘Nice!’ under my breath. The same was true for Obama. In fact, I can’t think of an elected official – and I’ve dealt with my fair share of them – who at some point or another has not caused me to think, ‘What the hell are you doing?!’ But I have never wished for them to die. I’ve never hoped they will suffer or struggle personally. I’ve prayed for defeat at the ballot box and at times I’ve worked to accomplish that, but none of it is personal. Political hurdles are one thing. Personal hurdles are entirely different. In fact, they used to be off limits. 

But we continue to sink lower in our tactics and rhetoric and nothing is off limits anymore. At least not on a large scale. On a small scale, there is a simple test you can take to determine whether or not you are part of the problem:

Do your political views run so deep in your blood that you find yourself feeling anything other than concern for a specific sick person because that person thinks differently than you?

Would you feel comfortable with your response about a positive coronavirus test if the name was interchanged with someone from your own party?

If you answered yes to either or both of these questions, you may want to reevaluate your political views. And your moral ones.

Jessica Szilagyi is a Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers."

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Lorenzo

    October 2, 2020 at 11:58 am

    You are entitled to your opinion. This disease is running rampant because of his policies. Wasn’t it he who said, it is what it is. Prayerfully, he will get a better outcome than the over 200,000 people who have died. Hope he has a speedy recovery. Vote Blue. Vote Democratic. Vote Blue

  2. Avatar

    A. Thomas

    October 2, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    I hope he and his wife recover soon, and they don’t develop any serious symptoms. I also hop it will give him more respect for wearing a mask.

  3. Avatar

    don

    October 2, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    This is nothing but equivocating your may to a maximum readership–a bit of ironic deconstructualizing while the chips are down. Guess what? There is right and wrong. And absolutely, by definition, this is karmaesque. There is a difference between karma and fate. His actions and, dare I say, beliefs, led to this. I don’t want him dead. I don’t even care if he goes to jail. There are thousands and thousands of Mr. Magoos just like him–the system is the issue. I just want him to go away from public life, whatever it takes.

  4. Avatar

    ElectricHunter

    October 2, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    I don’t want to be mean, but I hope he will suffer, just a bit

  5. Avatar

    Ruben Salazar

    October 2, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Im from a Mexicsn heritage. I think this president is the best thing that ever has happend to the USA. I pray for POTUS and his family. And yes i would never join him for dinner for i think he is an ass but he is good for our nation. Love POTUS

  6. Avatar

    Mind ya

    October 2, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    In his own words when he was asked about hundreds of thousands dying… “It is what it is…” Covid isn’t a joke. I lost my father to it. So while I won’t laugh… I’m not sympathetic.

  7. Avatar

    Alexis Webber

    October 2, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    Hmmmm, maybe because your “president” has been NOTHING but hateful and cruel these four years to everyone he looks down on, including his own supporters, and, pretty much his ENTIRE life!!! He’s a malignant, sociopath, narcissist who KNEW about this virus late last year/early 2020 and he. Did. Nothing. NOTHING. He mocked and even said that it would “just disappear” and to inject bleach and take malaria medication so he and his friends would make $$$$$$$ from rising stock prices. He is a selfish nutbag. Going on 208,000 dead – this is his legacy.

    Can you dig through the internet what trump did when Hillary got sick with pneumonia four years ago!? He made FUN of her and kicked her while she was down. So,sweetheart, tots and pears, and basically it is what it is. Get over yourself and your painfully silly article. You sound like a bumpkin who buries her head in ground when it suits her.

  8. Avatar

    john smooth

    October 3, 2020 at 12:03 am

    He’s not the “president of the free world”. He’s the president of America only. Your ignorance is astounding and why anyone would pay you to write is astounding.

  9. Jessica Szilagyi

    Jessica Szilagyi

    October 3, 2020 at 12:09 am

    Bless your heart. The reference to the “leader of the free world” is a Cold War era reference about a country without communism.

    Between your lack of historical and contextual understanding and your personal insults, I think I’ll pass on giving your feedback any real consideration.

  10. Avatar

    Bootnsnboards

    October 3, 2020 at 4:30 am

    I don’t relish the suffering of any human being. That being said, it was inevitable with the Reckless Behavior continuously employed by members of Trumps staff and Trump himself that he would eventually become infected. I hope the best for his Swift recovery but I also hope that our country learns something from this. That being a commander and chief who spreads misinformation is a danger on multiple levels. Again I do hope that Trump and Melania recover. But I hope our nation has also learned something from this Fiasco. They are human beings and I was no suffering upon any human being. But I can’t say the opposite is true coming from the other direction.

    We are modern human beings it is quite possible to hold empathy and prayer for hope while at the same time shaking our heads at the mistakes and poor decision-making as well as misinformation relentlessly spread by the very person who now our focus is upon. I don’t say that he deserves it as I don’t think anyone deserves suffering just simply because they are unlucky. But a recipe for disaster was followed time and time again and it was almost inevitable that this would happen. It is just insane but the timing of it is as it is 32 days before the election.

    I honestly, sincerely, hope that all Americans can back off from this mentality that are to Pro party system is some type of Team game where your team can do no wrong and the other team can do no right. There are differing opinions on how to reach the same goals and that is what this country is about. We need to get rid of labels and those people who continue to use them need to be directly confronted on how stupid, oversimplifies, overgeneralize, and willfully ignorant the use of such labels are. All blessings and hope to the trumps that they recover. But this country desperately needs to break off from its two party system and that is rotting it from its core

  11. Avatar

    Bootnsnboards

    October 3, 2020 at 4:40 am

    Doh i meant two party system. Darn dictation typos lol.

  12. Avatar

    Bootsnboards

    October 3, 2020 at 4:47 am

    @Ruben Salazar

    I’m honestly curious to hear your perspective. It would certainly Layton my spirits if I were to hear from someone such as yourself what good things you say he has done for you that do not simply work for you alone. Are you talking about something that has benefited you solely, or are you referring to something that has benefited people of your heritage in general? If so so, what? This is a serious question. I am not being facetious at alll; I am very curious because I want to know what other people of other races and ethnicities think and what benefits they are receiving from a trump Administration. With that question I want to emphasize the Trump Administration itself not the houses of Congress but directly the Trump Administration. I’ve heard many interesting, thought-provoking things from South and Central Americans. Despite the fact that in the beginning of his presidency he did throw out some grave insults, I do think it’s possible that a person can still do some good even if a population or certain group of people don’t like them. No one is black nor White. So can you list to Me Maybe say five important things that he has done for you that you believe benefit your community in general?

  13. Avatar

    Bootnsnboards

    October 3, 2020 at 4:55 am

    @John Smooth you make a very powerful point. In the last four years we have gone from being the leader of the Free World to being an international joke. I hate to say it but anyone who is really being honest with themselves knows that it is true. We have pushed away our allies and embracee dictators and destroyed faith faith in our public institution. I shouldn’t say we I should say certain people in positions where they have a bully pulpit have done such. It is going to take a very very long time to recover from this disaster but I still love America and Trump, being a human being as well as Melania, I wish them a speedy recovery and reduce suffering and all the best. Along with that I wish them some type of emotional and spiritual epiphany. Melania leading the war on Christmas talking about fuck Christmas and fuck Christmas decorations and who gives a fuck about it anyway and tells you all you need to know about really cares about tradition

  14. Avatar

    Bootnsnboards

    October 3, 2020 at 4:59 am

    Can I ask why fairly balanced, sincere posts are being blocked?

  15. Avatar

    Bootnsnboards

    October 3, 2020 at 5:11 am

    Hi Jessica, I’ve noticed that a few of my well actually all of my comments which were well-meaning and I tried to keep balanced never got published and have been removed from the comments section. Could you DM me with some tips on what I’m doing wrong or what you’re taking issue with with what I’m saying? I want to contribute to the discussion and I don’t hold any anger. I don’t think any president of either party is going to destroy our country although I see a lot of people screaming that every four years, lol. As I’m sure you do too. I try to keep an even Keel but there were some things that I feel needed to be said. Regardless I am not a fan of human suffering in any regard, even if it is President Trump and Melania. Some people may hate me for saying this even though I don’t support everything they stand for, but I wish them the best and a speedy recovery.

    Back to the point, is it just a long. Of time before post get okayed to be put up on the board? Or was I saying things that were considered controversial by someone on your team? I won’t argue that I just want to have my voice heard and do it in a way that conforms to what you expect of me. This is of course your forum 😊.

  16. Avatar

    Samuel N Vetter

    October 3, 2020 at 6:09 am

    Ok, your final response seals the deal. You overgeneralize, sensationalise, over-simplifu, and definitely fall… At least at the moment, into clickbait. Please do better. You have a sharp, analytical mind. While I did agree with what you said, I despise the sensationalism. Maybe you have a mgr pushing u to produce clickbait… It does pay the bills, for now. But please, never forget the integrity of true journalists. Still a supporter of your work…

    Sam (no stranger to your slims myself btw… We need leaders getting it back on track, rather than the polarizing, sensationalized stories more interested in clicks then actually spreading truth and accuracy in journalism. It is the modern-day equivalent of online tabloids like the National Enquirer. We need to make a change desperately. You can help please do

  17. Jessica Szilagyi

    Jessica Szilagyi

    October 3, 2020 at 7:33 am

    Hi there,
    Sorry your comments were delayed in being posted. There is not someone up around the clock to ‘approve’ them. (All comments are approved, but we do weed out spam and pingbacks)
    If you create an account, it does allow you to post comments without the need for approval, but that’s a little beyond my paygrade. Anyways, I apologize for the delay but all of your comments & replies should be approved now.

  18. Avatar

    Lisa

    October 3, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    To quote Trump when he was asked about the virus….. “IT IS WHAT IT IS”

    nuff said

  19. Avatar

    steve

    October 4, 2020 at 11:48 am

    he made this bed… he has to lie in it (ouch that pun hurt)

  20. Avatar

    Linda

    October 4, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    What you have written would be a classic example of gaslighting, except you are so inept at it, your writing could hardly be a classic example of anything except ineptness. You go wrong in your very first sentence when you say “I can’t comprehend delighting…” but then your next sentence show with the words “…ironic, funny, coincidental, rewarding, redeeming, or Karma-esquet…” that you do comprehend this delight very well, since I am assuming you know what all those words mean. Then you finish your introductory lines with this beauty: “we all know someone who did nothing but stay home and have groceries delivered and they still contracted COVID-19. It does no good to speculate how it was contracted or by whom.” This dishonesty lets your readers know they can stop right there, and not bother themselves with your insignificance. None of us know anybody who did nothing but stay home and have their groceries delivered. Because nobody did that, except those people trapped in nursing homes, who were infected by people who were as careless with their Covid-19 precautions as the president. Those people died. Herbert Cain died. Yes, people who took every care to prevent themselves getting the coronavirus, did get it, because people they trusted (and only trusted them for maybe 90 minutes) carried the disease to them, just like the president has callously infected those who trusted him.

  21. Avatar

    Don

    October 4, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    We prefer you reporting facts not your political agenda. I used to think you were an pretty good reporter. Your are politicizing the president having covid under the the false pretense. I’m sure you’re voting for Trump. The fact remains that he downplayed a very dangerous virus. Despite all the precautions taken to keep him safe, he still got infected. What if this were a biological warfare attack? he has failed so miserably at handling the pandemic that it’s even gotten him and the people surrounding him. The ones receiving rapid tests constantly. What about everyday Americans. Do you think everyday Americans are admitted to the hospital as a precautionary? No. He knew that if he caught the virus he would receive the best care in the country. It is what it is. He caught the virus. I hope he recovers and decides he’s going to take Americans lives more seriously.

  22. Jessica Szilagyi

    Jessica Szilagyi

    October 4, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    Hopefully you feel better about yourself having posted that comment, Linda.

  23. Jessica Szilagyi

    Jessica Szilagyi

    October 4, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    Don, it’s not reporting my political agenda. It’s an opinion piece, denoted in the title and again before the column.

    You assume that I’m not voting for Trump, which is correct, but then say in advancing my political agenda. Both cannot be true.

    Also, just because you don’t like the content doesn’t mean there’s an agenda. It’s my beliefs and my job description not only permits but also encourages opinion pieces. If my opinion pieces make you say “I used to think you were a pretty good reporter,” when my opinion pieces have not changed how I report the facts, I question your opinion, not mean.

    I say all that to say, most of what you said could have been done without making it personal and instead focusing on the content.

  24. Avatar

    Linda

    October 5, 2020 at 1:20 am

    I gave you some sound criticism about the weakness of your opening statements. I did not pull my punches because I always hope to find someone who does not need to be coddled. Your passive aggressive deflection is trite and overused as a response, but it does work as an admission that you have no defense against the issue I raised. The president violated the trust of his closest allies by exposing them all to a serious and deadly virus. You are wise not to attempt to argue the issue, because there is no defending his behavior, which led to his current affliction. “Hoist with his own petard.” That quote is from Hamlet. I don’t know how familiar you are with Shakespeare, but quoting him is far more appropriate than referring to karma, which is a complex concept that has been badly served by American pop culture. Thank you for letting me exhaust your patience. I think you might be be a kind person.

  25. Avatar

    Jacob

    October 5, 2020 at 8:15 am

    Though I personally believe the man is a blowhard (Always thought that, not because he’s president), I don’t wish the virus on anyone. I do believe the virus could’ve been handled better on BOTH ends. By both, I mean the government AND the people. We all have the freedom to make our own choices. If YOU chose to go out and eat because the country fried steak at Cracker Barrel couldn’t wait and then you caught the virus, that’s your own fault. The virus is not a political issue.

    I don’t support Trump nor Biden (why do we have to choose between two old guys whose mental state ain’t the best), but one thing I can say about Trump is that, ever since he entered the presidential race, he’s managed to reveal just how many toxic people of ALL political affiliations exist in our country.

    I’m not trying to start a fight or argue, but I just believe that everyone is responsible for the transmission of the virus. However, I also understand that you can still catch it even if you follow the safety protocols when out and about. COVID-19 is a new strand of the coronavirus. No one knows exactly what it’s capable of or how to stop it (though I hope they figure that part out soon).

    Tl;dr: The president got COVID. Whether you like him or not, don’t be a jackass.

  26. Avatar

    Karma

    October 5, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    JUDGED & CONDEMNED? I see you were unafected by him, but in our advanced & civilized society his transgression against immigrants reminds me the ocupied territories by Nazy Germany during the WWII, it brings to mind Karma and the process of cause and effect where his actions and intentions directly influence his future.
    Karma holds one responsible for it’s intentions and actions.

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