February 1, 2023

Sympathy and mockery as most powerful man in the world announces he had been infected with most notorious disease in the world

Julio Cortez/AP President Donald Trump holds up his face mask during the first presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic
Julio Cortez/AP

From presidential palaces around the world to Twitter and Facebook posts in some of the most unlikely places 10,000 miles away, words of sympathy and mockery came from everywhere immediately the most powerful man in the world announced on Twitter he had been infected with the most notorious disease in the world.

Shortly before 1 a.m. on Friday, Trump tweeted that he and First Lady Melania Trump had been infected with the coronavirus and would be quarantining at home.

As the day went on, Trump allies and doctor said he was showing “mild symptoms” and was being treated with experimental drugs, and would going to be hospitalized at a military hospital near Washington D.C.

Reactions were almost immediate. Some were shocked that Trump who had downplayed the virus that has killed more than a million people around the world could come down with it, others wished him speedy recovery while some even mocked him, saying he deserved to be down with the deadly coronavirus.

Below is what some people said after Trump announced he had come down with COVID-19.

Hu Xijin, the outspoken editor of the state-owned Global Times newspaper, tweeted in English that “President Trump and the first lady have paid the price for his gamble to play down the COVID-19.”

“Here comes a chance for him to actually try out his idea of injecting disinfectant into himself and fighting back (against allegations that) it was fake news!” tweeted Hiroyuki Nishimura, a Japanese internet entrepreneur, referring to an idea Trump floated earlier this year for treatment, wrote Hollywood Reporters.

Keio University economics professor Masaru Kaneko tweeted that populist leaders like British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro “got infected because they tended not to take the coronavirus seriously.”

Naji Scott, a Democrat from Philadelphia, said she was initially shocked. “I was just appalled. I’m not surprised that he tested positive,” Scott told NPR. “It’s sad because I can’t imagine how many people he’s effected by not wearing a mask and taking the proper precautions.”

“He still won’t wear a mask. He only cares about himself and his life, NOT those around him or the people he took an oath to protect. Too many lives lost because of his deadly lies,” tweeted Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib.

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, a frequent target of President Donald Trump’s, blasted him for what she calls “actively spreading a deadly virus.”

Iranian state television announced Trump had the virus, an anchor breaking the news with an unflattering image of the U.S. president surrounded by what appeared to be giant coronaviruses.

Al-Arabiya, a Saudi-owned satellite channel based in Dubai, cut to a long live shot of the White House. Qatari state-owned Al Jazeera channel brought in four commentators to discuss the “prevailing state of uncertainty” in the United States, questioning whether Trump could effectively steer a reelection campaign and run the country from quarantine, wrote Hollywood Reporters.

President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo tweeted: “My wife Rebecca and I send best wishes to @realDonaldTrump and his wife, @MELANIATRUMP, after they both contracted COVID-19. We wish them a speedy recovery.”

“President Muhammadu Buhari joins all citizens of United States of America in prayers for quick and full recovery of President Donald Trump and his wife, Melanie, who reportedly tested positive to COVID-19. The President notes, with sympathy, that the incident of COVID-19 in the White House manifests the challenge posed by the pandemic across the world, and difficulty in containing the spread,” wrote the Nigerian presidency.

“Michelle and I hope that the President, First Lady, and all those affected by the coronavirus around the country are getting the care they need and are on the path to a speedy recovery,” Barack Obama tweeted.

“Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family,” tweeted Joe Biden.

“Wishing my friend @POTUS @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS a quick recovery and good health,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

Russian President Vladimir Putin extended wishes of a speedy recovery to Trump and his wife, and expressed “sincere support in this difficult moment,” according to a statement released by the Kremlin. The Kremlin said Putin sent Trump a telegram saying, “I hope that your inherent vitality, good spirits and optimism will help you cope with the dangerous virus.”

“My best wishes to President Trump and the First Lady. Hope they both have a speedy recovery from coronavirus,” tweeted Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom.

“Like millions of Israelis, Sara and I are thinking of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump and wish our friends a full and speedy recovery,” tweeted Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.

“I wish a speedy recovery to U.S. President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS Melania Trump, who tested positive for COVID-19. I sincerely hope that they will overcome the quarantine period without problems and regain their health as soon as possible,” tweeted Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey.

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