US Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has wished Republican President Donald Trump, 74, and First Lady Melania, 50, a quick recovery from COVID-19.
“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,” Biden wrote on Twitter.
Trump had written in his Twitter handle “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
A number of Democrat lawmakers in the US also wished Trump recovery from COVID-19, some urging him to take the novel Coronavirus more seriously.
“Mr. President — if these reports are confirmed, I wish you and the First Lady well,” said Julian Castro who launched his campaign for Democratic presidential nomination in January 2019, but dropped out of the race in January 2.
“I hope this is a wake-up call that this virus is not a hoax or something cured by injecting bleach,” Castro wrote on Twitter.
Trump in April suggested research into whether the novel Coronavirus might be treated by injecting a disinfectant into human body, after he was told bleach could kill the virus in saliva or respiratory fluids.
Although Biden’s campaign stated Trump views COVID-19 as “a hoax,” the president said in February Democrats are “politicizing” the pandemic, adding: “They tried the impeachment hoax … And this is their new hoax.”
Another Democrat, Rep. Jared Huffman from California, said: “Trump and @SenateGOP have failed to take #COVID seriously — and America has paid the terrible price.”
More than 200,000 Americans have lost their lives so far from COVID-19, which Trump called as “the Chinese virus” because of its origin. He resisted wearing a mask, especially during press conferences, until a public event in July.
“No one wants more deaths … Unfortunately, POTUS’ experience with COVID may determine if he changes his tune and attitude or not. If he quickly recovers & is symptom free, will he continue to mock those who wear a mask?” Rep. Nanette D. Barragan, House Democrat from California, wrote on Twitter.
“The President will get treatment other Americans cannot — rapid/multiple COVID testing, top notch health care with daily doctor assessments and who knows what prescriptions. All Americans deserve the same care,” she said.
Trump announced Monday a plan to distribute 150 million rapid Coronavirus tests that are purchased by the federal government. But health care remained a major issue in the US during the pandemic, and it gained even more importance in the looming presidential election on Nov. 3.
“Democrats are fighting to protect health care … Trump administration is suing to eliminate coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions,” Democrat Rep. Ted Lieu from California said on Twitter.
Trump has repeatedly promised in the past years to repeal or replace his predecessor Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, but failed to do so.
The extraordinary setback for Trump had immediate political consequences just 31 days before election day, forcing him to cancel campaign trips and adding new volatility to a contest already steeped in tension.
Trump’s challenger, Biden, is well ahead in the polls and has made criticism of the Republican’s handling of the Coronavirus — and frequent downplaying of the pandemic’s seriousness — a key issue.
A second televised debate with Biden is scheduled for October 15.
Technically obese and in his 70s, Trump is in a higher-risk category for Coronavirus patients.