First Lady Melania Trump shared her experience with COVID on the White House website today, also revealing for the first time that her very tall son, Barron, tested positive. Both she and Barron have subsequently tested negative.
“Luckily he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms,” Melania wrote about Barron, indicating that she might not be aware many other “strong teenagers” with COVID have become severely ill and even died.
Melania was diagnosed two weeks ago, along with President Donald Trump and several other prominent Republicans, after they attended a super-spreader VIP garden party in honor of Amy Coney Barrett, the potential Supreme Court Justice who needs a refresher on the First Amendment. After the president tested positive and had to spend a few days in the hospital and take supplemental oxygen, he continued to downplay the virus, taking a joyride outside the hospital while infected, tearing off his mask upon his return to the White House, and then continuing to hold huge maskless rallies, acting like he has learned nothing from the experience. Well, it seems Melania is in a similar place in her COVID journey.
“I was very fortunate as my diagnosis came with minimal symptoms, though they hit me all at once and it seemed to be a roller coaster of symptoms in the days after,” Melania wrote. “I experienced body aches, a cough, and headaches, and felt extremely tired most of the time.”
Melania wrote that she chose to go the “natural route” for treatments, opting for “vitamins and healthy food,” unlike her husband, who tried every experimental medical treatment available. While it’s great that those methods worked for her mild COVID case, it’s irresponsible to promote them as valid alternatives to medical care, and treat White House dot gov like an alternative lifestyle blog. It’s also hard to imagine how the thousands of people dealing with COVID, who didn’t have access to or couldn’t afford much-needed supplemental oxygen and other treatments, will feel about the First Lady’s apparent disregard for their plights and implicit insistence that getting better is merely about eating more vegetables.
Melania also tried her hand at serious reflection in the post, saying she “thought about the hundreds of thousands of people across our country who have been impacted by this illness that infects people with no discrimination. We are in unprecedented times — and with the election fast approaching, it has been easy to get caught up in so much negative energy.” Very convenient to omit that her husband is contributing about 99.9999% of this energy! Hinting at her eventual post-White House transition into a lifestyle influencer, she also encouraged everyone to “live the healthiest life they can” including “a balanced diet, fresh air, and vitamins.” Wow! She’s going to be endorsing detox teas in no time.
The thing that’s particularly infuriating about this post is that we would all be so much better off without it, including Melania. Over time, it’s become clear that she (and whoever helps her with these things) seems to think that if she chooses the right mix of words — like “reflect,” “thought,” “people,” “unprecedented times,” throw in something about the election, why the hell not — people might mistake her word soup for true compassion. But there’s no there there amid these platitudes. The thought, consideration, and self-awareness are missing. Like most things the Trump administration does, it’s all pretense and no substance.
Melania already showed us who she is in a recently leaked tape, where she downplayed the child separation crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and seemed to be proud of “driving liberals crazy.” Here, she is showing us who she is again, just with nicer words. Sorry Melania, you can keep your vitamins. But we do need: healthcare, sensible lockdown and mask policies to keep a second wave from becoming catastrophic, and recovery money.
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