Editorial Board Reaction to News of President Trump’s Coronavirus Diagnosis

October 4, 2020

"If the president can get infected in the protected bubble he lives in, anyone can."

We asked members of our editorial advisory board to share some of their thoughts about the implications of President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis. Some of them responded early Friday before the full scope of the outbreak in the White House was apparent. Their responses have been edited for clarity and length.

Perry Cohen, Pharm.D., CEO, The Pharmacy Group

I was sorry to see that the president is sick. But it proves that science is always right and that the virus can infection anyone.

I think it will mean that people will comply better with CDC guidelines (masks, social distancing, hand washing).

I think it will have little impact on reopenings because we have no national policy and each governor makes decision for their state.

If the president becomes severely sick or dies, then it will become a much bigger deal.

Douglas Chaet, FACHE, President, Value Evolutions, and chair, American Association of Integrated Healthcare Delivery Systems

I was surprised at the news because of the presidential precautions but also not surprised because no one gets a free ride. My emotion response was that I was sad but in a satisfying way.

Greater discipline is required if we are going to have the luxury of keeping the country open.

I think it validates that we are still moving in the wrong direction which would suggest that we are less than halfway there in terms of a fix.

My biggest worry at this point the ongoing struggle between your rights as an American and responsible behavior as a human.

Donald Hall, principal of DeltaSigma, LLC

President Trump’s diagnosis of COVID-19 should be a wake-up call to the high risks of reopening too soon.

While frustrations about the prolonged push to maintain wearing masks, keeping social distance and avoiding indoor crowded venues is real, the virus is still very active.

If the president can get infected in the protected bubble he lives in, anyone can.

David Calabrese, RPh, M.H.P.

Today’s news (response written on Friday) reinforces the fact that we are all susceptible and that we all should be doing everything we can to help protect ourselves and those around us.

In general, as health professionals and as a society, we are all readily mindful of the critical importance of having one or more safe and effective vaccines available on the market to help mitigate the continued devastation this virus is unleashing upon our world.

I do not see today’s news as in any way shifting timelines for review and approval of a vaccine here in the U.S. by our FDA. I am confident that with the safeguards in place, our researchers, public health agencies, and independent review boards of experts in vaccinology, infectious disease and molecular biology will continue to exercise optimal due diligence to ensure that we balance this pressing need for a vaccine with proper safety precautions to protect our citizens.