Throughout Trump’s campaign for president and the four years in the White House, he and those closest to him repeatedly sought to obfuscate about his overall health — setting new lows in the standards of transparency for our chief executive in the process.
When Trump tested positive for Covid-19 in October 2020, it was virtually impossible to get a straight answer about his condition out of anyone in the White House — including White House physician Sean Conley.
Conley repeatedly gave rosy assessments of Trump’s health while battling the disease, conveniently parsing words to avoid acknowledging what we now know (and long suspected): This was a very serious health crisis for Trump.
“I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the President in his course of illness has had. I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction, and in doing so it came off that we’re trying to hide something.”
Which tells you everything you need to know about Conley — and the approach to Trump’s health he and the White House team took. What difference does the desire to “reflect the upbeat attitude of the team [and] the president,” have on Trump’s condition? And why would Conley providing accurate information about Trump’s condition “steer the course of illness in another direction”? Short answer: It wouldn’t.
That Trump’s condition was even more dire than we knew, then, isn’t surprising. A lack of transparency — and Trump’s desire to always be perceived as strong and, uh, manly — was a feature, not a glitch, of the Trump White House.
Knowing the full picture of a President’s health — whether that President is Trump or Joe Biden or whoever comes after Biden — is a public right. Being purposely misinformed or given very limited information for public relations reasons should not be excused. Or repeated.