WASHINGTON — Like him, or dislike him, politicians seem to be of one accord in wishing President Donald Trump, and First Lady Melania Trump, well after the couple tested positive for COVID-19 virus, although a few used it as a warning to take the pandemic seriously.
Reactions were mostly positive, although a former staffer for President Obama posted, who also worked for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, tweeted and then deleted, a comment that “I hope he dies.”
Overall, however, even his deepest political rivals said they are praying for the first couple.
Vice-President, and Democratic Presidential nominee, Joe Biden said he hopes for a swift recovery. Biden and his wife tested negative for the virus on Friday.
“Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery,” Biden said in a statement. “We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also extended good thoughts and wishes on television.
“I always pray for the president and his family that they are safe. I continue to do so more intensified,” she said. “I know that he will have the best of care, and that is what we want for everyone in our country.”
Closer to home, Congressman Tom Reed said this is an opportunity for national leaders to show who they really are.
“We are sending our prayers and best wishes to the President and the First Lady. We wish them a speedy and full recovery. This is a moment that, I believe, we as leaders can demonstrate who we are as a country,” Reed said. “We must have a healthy respect for this virus. We must use our common sense, smarts, and medical best practices to mitigate its risks. But we will not stand down. We will not live in fear.”
“In the end, we will get through this and we will overcome the challenges before us together,” he went on to say.
Reed’s congressional opponent, Democratic nominee Tracy Mitrano said this episode is a caution to follow best practices in combating COVID.
“I wish President Trump and the First Lady a speedy recovery both for their health and for the security of our nation. Today’s news is a sad reminder that no one is immune to COVID-19. It is vital that we all continue to follow the guidance and best practices that have been suggested by public health officials and medical experts to keep ourselves safe, by washing our hands, wearing masks when in public, and keeping our social distance. Together we can get through the hardships this virus has imposed and come out stronger,” she said.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also sent good wishes, but said Trump’s diagnosis shows what happens when science is ignored.
“I wish President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump and any White House staff members who are infected a speedy recovery. I join the nation in praying for the First Family’s health and safety,” Schumer said.
But he went on to say “What happened to President Trump is a reminder of why the whole country, including Senators and staff, must follow the science and follow the protocols laid out by the CDC and public health officials. When you ignore the science, you don’t wear a mask, and you don’t follow social distancing guidelines, it puts you and everyone around you at risk.”
However, not all comments were positive.
Zara Rahim, who worked in Obama’s Office of Digital Strategy, and served as the national spokeswoman for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, deleted her tweet shortly after being published.
“It’s been against my moral identity to tweet this for the past four years, but, I hope he dies,” Rahim wrote in the tweet.”