Fear Itself: Trump and His Critics Hit A Feverish Pitch After Release From Walter Reed

Many believe that Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s greatest single line came in his 1933 inaugural address when he declared that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Fear is a precursor to panic and FDR gave the country hope.  President Trump has repeatedly said that he wants to maintain the same positive attitude but it was hardly a FDR moment yesterday when Trump told citizens “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.” Many of us have denounced the statement as absolutely reckless for a president to make in the middle of a pandemic. At the same time, Trump critics have denounced the President while engaging in utter hysteria over the President’s release. Yesterday, for example, Washington Post columnist and MSNBC commentator Jennifer Rubin appeared to become utterly unglued over the release and tweeted that his doctor should be stripped of his license and Walter Reed “defunded.”I cannot imagine a more irresponsible comment than telling people not to fear Covid. I can understand the push to reopen the economy despite the ongoing pandemic.  I can understand the opposition to inconsistent state rules governing protests or gatherings. I also understand the need to remain optimistic. However, with over 200,000 dead Americans, there is every reason to be afraid of this incredibly contagious virus, as shown by the President’s own contraction of Covid-19.

On the other side, the same unhinged rhetoric was in full display.  Ruben was a case in point. She excoriated the medical team at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and White House physician Dr. Sean Conley for releasing the President. Rubin declared “Any MD who publicly endorses this insanity needs to lose his/her license. Period.”

The “insanity” was a determination that the President could continue to recover at the White House where there is a full medical facility and staff.  Not only did the team confirm that every criteria for release had been satisfied as much as a day earlier, but there are a myriad of reasons why such a release is warranted. First, the hospital staff needs to address acute patients and the huge staff assigned to the President was hardly justified if he was showing no signs of decline after meeting the benchmarks for release.  Second, he is the President of the United States.  If he can recover at the White House, it is important to have him closer to the situation room and other secure areas in case of emergency.  Staff must be able to share classified material and engage the President on matters of state. While the Presidential Suite at Walter Reed is ample, it create logistical and security concerns for staff in interacting with a president.

Rubin however was not finished with her Twitter tirade. She added that “Congress might want to defund Walter Reed. It is a public health hazard.” She added that the President could not be trusted and that the public needed to be protected from him: “A 74 yr old [obese] man with covid – who might have lung damage – and a pattern of disregarding medical advice is returned to an environment in which he may infect others. What planet does Conley inhabit? Where is the rest of Walter Reed? The VP? They are remarkable cowards.”

 

Before we move from a “defund the police” to a “defund Walter Reed” movement, we may want a reality check. Whether recovering at Walter Reed or the White House, the President will be under close scrutiny and isolation. If he wanted to meet with staff, he could do so just as well at Walter Reed as he could the White House.  He remains the President of the United States.  Moreover, while Rubin has declared these physicians quacks, she may want to address their detailed justification in citing the criteria for release and the President’s meeting that criteria. The President is less than ten minutes away if he has a relapse or sudden decline.
Rubin has shown a remarkable detachment from the underlying facts of stories in lashing out against targets.  For full disclosure, I have previously criticized her misrepresentation of a major federal ruling (which the Washington Post has yet to correct) as well as a misrepresentation of an exchange in the impeachment hearing. I also clashed with her over her bizarrely attacking me for a theory that I did not agree with in a column that I did not write.
What is most striking with critics like Rubin is how much they engage in the same conduct that they denounce in Trump.  Rubin regularly engages in twitter tirades and has been regularly denounced for false statements and personal attacks. In this latest incident, she is suggesting that a team of distinguished doctors should be stripped of their license and calls them all “cowards.” The message is that either they are quacks or political stooges or both. This is because Rubin believes that they should somehow order the confinement of the President of the United States at a hospital despite meeting criteria for release.
Both Trump and Rubin show the benefits and costs of fear.  Fear has a benefit when it prompts people to be cautious in the face of an imminent threat like Covid-19.  That is why the President was wrong in issuing that statement. Fear also has a cost when it unleashes panic or hysteria.  That is why Rubin and others are wrong to savage the medical staff and hospital. Call me old-fashioned but I like the old FDR fearful moments.

244 thoughts on “Fear Itself: Trump and His Critics Hit A Feverish Pitch After Release From Walter Reed”

  1. Democrats are all in on this defunding trend, which punishes innocent people. Who would be harmed if Walter Reed were defunded? All the military who receive care there. The doctors, nurses, and the rest of the staff. Plus there is no medical need to hospitalize anyone with mild symptoms.

    Any of this getting through? Or will the “defund, punish the innocent” trend grind on like the inertia of motion? It will continue until or unless stopped.

  2. One more thing. The last I checked, symptoms usually get worse around day 8.

    People should neither howl that he should be hospitalized with mild symptoms, nor be gleeful that his symptoms are mild. We won’t know how his disease is going to progress until around the week mark of testing positive.

    Also, if this was Week One of the pandemic, everyone exposed to a positive person would be in quarantine for 14 days. However, this pandemic is global. There is no longer a point to that sort of quarantine as long as our border is open to travel and immigration. So, no, Joe Biden should not go into quarantine for 14 days. Everyone in government is exposed to a Covid-19 positive person with some regularity. There have been over 100 staffers, around 60 House of Representatives, and I can’t remember how many Senators have gotten Covid-19. Plus a great many members of the press have gotten it.

    Joe Biden is tested, probably daily. If he flags positive, they will discover it immediately. The actual turnaround time for some of these field assays is 10 minutes. Hands on time for each assay is minutes. They would know same day.

    In the meantime, both houses of Congress really should go full remote. This will avoid an outbreak shutting down the government or causing confusion. For instance, if there is a tie or the results of the election are questioned, you can’t have a situation where most of Congress is out sick. The House has been voting remotely, to my understanding, at least some of the time.

    Basic pandemic preparedness would require our government to be able to function remotely for each member.

    1. Karen S: “Basic pandemic preparedness would require our government to be able to function remotely for each member.”
      ****
      One would hope that much has been learned and measures developed. This won’t be the last pandemic.

    1. I feel for the woman, but would she feel the same if her husband died of the flu? We have thousands dying of the flu every year, sometimes 30,000, 60,000 90,000 in this country and for one flu it wiped out millions of people all over the world. Should we walk around afraid of the flu which is shortly going to be here? Should we close the country down for several months because of the flu? Her husband, if around her age, was the exception not the rule for Covid but would not have been the exception for the flu.

      The left bases their actions on emotions and that leads one down a bad path.

      The right bases their actions of fact and science. That is how we used to manage most problems but suddenly the left is using Covid to push for its political aspirations.

    2. Trump holds the wheel, we lash ourselves to the rail, enter the storm, five to one, one in five, nobody here gets out alive

      there’s death all around us, people are shook up because we hide it away and play ostrich with it. face it squarely no matter how it comes

        1. Party on Eddie, RIP.

          The great thing about life we all know one of these days it’s our last Party, make the most of it I suggest. And don’t fall off the landlord’s roof you ph’in morons, I’ll sue your parents 4 U being so Stupid!!!!… LOL;)

  3. No Covid-19 patient would remain hospitalized with these symptoms. Typically, they are released to convalesce at home. Any claims that Trump should remain hospitalized with mild symptoms is incorrect. What he should do, however, is remain medically isolated.

    What I am curious about is how to keep the staff safe. Most regular people would be released from the hospital, and then they would clean their own house. Or they would stay with family, who would take care of them and (hopefully) quarantine themselves.

    However, when it’s a world leader, that’s not possible. We certainly have the technology for President Trump to retire to his suite in the White House, his home, and for meetings to occur remotely, or over the phone. I would disagree with face to face meetings with a Covid-19 positive patient. Lots of medical personnel have been contracting Covid-19 even though they mask, use face shields, disposable gowns, disposable gloves, and obsessively wash their hands. PPE can only do so much.

    World leaders have told their people not to cower and fear an upcoming war before charging into battle. There is nothing wrong with installing bravery. What is important, however, is to gird your loins for that battle. I would have preferred that Trump said something along the lines of, we as a nation can beat this. We are working on a vaccine and treatment. Wear a mask. Keep 6 feet away from people outside your circle. We’ve got this!!!

    However, President Trump is never going to consult me on how to phrase his next Tweet. Or Ivanka. Or literally anyone on his communications staff.

    1. We don’t know all of his symptoms because Conley wasn’t allowed to share all of them. He repeatedly invoked HIPAA in not answering questions. Trump went back to the WH, where there’s a large medical unit and where he can be air-lifted back to Walter Reed if he needs. We still don’t know why Trump went to Walter Reed last fall.

  4. The moderator is withholding published facts as presented by CDC which I’ve tried to present. WHY? Whats the fear of facts?

    1. George, make sure the words don’t contain anything that might be on a ban list. Add a . into them to confuse the electronic sensor. Take the information to your email and format it in plain text. Make sure there are no addresses in the email and then post it back to the blog. Most of the problems are created not by humans but by the poor technology that exists.

  5. President Trump, not a “fake” Harris-Biden type corrupt politician but a successful businessman on hiatus to serve his country, was wounded in battle but continues to fight; to fight for free and constitutional America, to his last breath, if need be.

    1. George: 6 business bankruptcies and losing over $400 million inherited from his father prove he is not a “successful businessman”. All of his businesses are under water. He has never “served his country” He cheated to get out of military service. He wasn’t “wounded in battle”, either. He wanted to be POTUS for the power and perceived glory. His arrogant refusal to follow COVID guidelines is why he got sick and has sickened others. The only thing he’s “fighting” is the truth, told by the majority of news outlets, about his endless lying, the chaotic administration due to requiring everyone to kiss his large ass and lie to the American public, the successful economy he inherited from President Obama and Joe Biden that he singlehandedly trashed, and the 7 million+ and 211,000+ Americans sicked and dead, respectively, due to his irresponsibility. If you don’t see the truth of these things, you are delusional.

      1. Burisma admits to bribing Joe Biden with a lump sum payment of around $900,000 USD in a Ukrainian criminal court today.

  6. The MSM did an “over the top” job in scaring the heck out of people with their Covid19 scares. Some of the very first recommendations were to throughly disinfect your home. Back then, my wife’s friend gave her a call. I’ll simply refer to her as Karen. Karen explained she was exhausted. Karen had followed the MSM recommendations and had just finished cleaning her entire house. Karen used a disinfectant to clean every surface in her home including every door knob.
    Ok, that sounded reasonable until one considers that Karen is divorced, lives alone, (her children had long ago moved, one to a state 1,500 miles away, and the youngest was teaching in Spain). Karen is a government employee and works from home via the Internet, hasn’t dated, or had any visitors to her home for the previous 3 or more months.
    Just something to think about.

  7. “Fear is a precursor to panic”, anxiety, and stress.

    All of which diminish the capabilities of your immune system by 35% or more.

    So keep wearing your useless masks, chichensh*ts. You’re making Darwin proud.

  8. If you were in the military you would say the only thing we have to fear is a Democrat getting elected. Since they start most of the wars unless you were a REMF working the rear area and then you could profile and pretend you were something you weren’t . 23 years combat arms and never once did I enter the Pentagon.

  9. Jonathan: Boy, you are really upset with Jennifer Rubin. You claim she is engaged in “unhinged rhetoric” for criticizing the doctors at Walter Reed Hospital in handling Trump’s stay at the hospital. So, as you say, let’s have a serious “reality check” about what happened at Walter Reed. In addressing Trump’s medical condition Dr. Conley gave a number of misleading and contradictory statements. He side-stepped reporter questions about whether Trump was on oxygen bur later had to admit Trump had been on oxygen for a “brief period”. He tried to give an upbeat assessment of Trump’s condition even though Trump was given dexamethasone, a drug not recommended for patients not on supplemental oxygen? Trump was also given other experimental drugs. This means Trump’s condition was much worse than Dr. Conley tried to portray .Then on Sunday Trump’s doctors allowed him to leave the hospital to parade around in his car waving at supporters–accompanied inside by Secret Service agents. One doctor, Dr. Phillips, at Walter Reed remarked in a post: “Every person in the vehicle sharing that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They might die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put lives at risk for theater. This is insanity” So Jennifer Rubin is not the only one sounding the alarm about the protocols at Walter Reed. No doubt doctors would have preferred Trump stay at the hospital in quarantine, The Covid protocols call for quarantine for 10 days and then 24 hours without symptoms. This is why Rubin is correct in criticizing Walter Reed. But Trump is the “President” and controls the agenda at Walter Reed. He was only worried about the “optics” and that’s why he demanded to be released despite the contraindications because of his contagious condition. Now Trump is back at the White House not wearing a face mask and exposing aides and support staff to the virus.

    Despite his precarious medical condition Trump wants to get back on the campaign trail and, if you can believe, is criticizing Biden–claiming he is “weak” for wearing a face mask! In a tweet yesterday Trump falsely claimed the flu is more dangerous that Covid. Everyone knows you get over the flu but not Covid. The effects can last a lifetime including organ damage. So when you day Jennifer Rubin is “utterly unglued” you are pointing your finger at the wrong person. It’s Trump who is not only “utterly unglued” but also delusional!

    1. “that’s why he demanded to be released despite the contraindications because of his contagious condition. ”

      Forgetting the rest of your errors, if he wasn’t President he would be on Medicare and those are the same criteria for release under Medicare. Hospitals will not be paid more for the extra days by Medicare. You constantly say things you have no knowledge of. I don’t want to spend hours correcting you so I say nothing but this comment proves that you talk without knowledge.

          1. No, I know that copying text doesn’t make me smart. What it shows is that it’s exceptionally easy to provoke you with very little effort on my part.

            1. Allan has nothing better to do with his time and — yes — he’s easily provoked, as you rightly note.

              1. You say I don’t have anything better to do with my time, yet you respond so what does that tell us about you?

                1. Many people post just one or two comments… Others like Allan linger; Allan is here from morning ’til night. All one has to do is quickly skim the comments section of each daily posting to see it.

                  1. Anonymous the Stupid has fears about people knowing that he is here from morning and into the night responding to me and others. He knows he is worthless and worries people will think that about him. He shouldn’t worry. He is worthless. I have no such fears, nor do most persons on this blog. Anonymous the Stupid is the outlier, ignorant and fearful. He should go back to the rat latrine. He will be safe there. No one else wishes to go.

                    1. Allan the Stupid has fears about people knowing that he is here from morning and into the night responding to me and others. He knows he is worthless and worries people will think that about him. He shouldn’t worry. He is worthless. I have no such fears, nor do most persons on this blog. Allan the Stupid is the outlier, ignorant and fearful. He should go back to the rat latrine. He will be safe there. No one else wishes to go.

                      Allan the Stupid is a pig.

                    2. Anonymous, let me provide you with the original statement again. Those are your fears not the fears of anyone else. You have told others to seek psych help but it appears you are the one that needs it. If you already have one fire him and get a more competent one.

                      Anonymous the Stupid has fears about people knowing that he is here from morning and into the night responding to me and others. He knows he is worthless and worries people will think that about him. He shouldn’t worry. He is worthless. I have no such fears, nor do most persons on this blog. Anonymous the Stupid is the outlier, ignorant and fearful. He should go back to the rat latrine. He will be safe there. No one else wishes to go.

      1. Allan doesn’t understand that if Trump were on Medicare, he wouldn’t get Regeneron’s antibody cocktail, which hasn’t been approved yet. Allan doesn’t understand that if Trump were on Medicare, he wouldn’t have been getting daily Covid tests and it might have taken a couple more days before he was diagnosed. Allan doesn’t understand that if Trump were on Medicare, he wouldn’t have a personal doctor giving him oxygen before he got to the hospital.

        1. Medicare doesn’t generally provide experimental drugs, nor should it. Those that have exceptional gifts can sometimes obtain things normal people can’t. Those that are corrupt like Biden sometimes can as well. Normal people have a chance if they are willing to pay or are convincing in certain ways. People like you that are failures don’t generally get very far.

  10. “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.”
    ———————————————–
    Excellent message from the President in a time of fear driven hysteria. Glad to see that he is recovering nicely, like virtually all Covid patients.

    1. “recovering nicely, like virtually all Covid patients”–OTHER THAN THE 211,000+ Americans who have died? Your hero is NO President.

      TRUMP LIES–PEOPLE DIE.

      1. Natacha, I realize it’s a big stretch for you. But go to the CDC website and actually read ALL of the data, and ALL of the suppositions used to collect the data.

        So, despite your most fervent wishes to the contrary, Covid has not killed anywhere close to 211,000 people in the US.

        Which is why it’s called a “scamdemic” by people who (unlike you) actually have good critical thinking skills.

  11. “…Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s greatest single line came in his 1933 inaugural address when he declared that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Fear is a precursor to panic and FDR gave the country hope.”

    – Professor Turley
    ______________

    FDR fraudulently stole the credit. FDR gave nothing to Americans. He gave alms and worthless trinkets to parasites. FDR’s “hope” and a hard-earned penny would buy you a cup of coffee in 1933. Free and self-reliant Americans persisted and “survived” keeping their own counsel and privately “lead[ing] lives of quiet desperation.” A wise old man once said of the “Great Depression,” “You could always get a job. You might not like the job but you could always get a job.” He swept the bakery floor.

    What General Secretary FDR (F—ing Dumba– Roosevelt) did of moment, was to steal rights and freedoms from Americans, further the nullification of the Constitution begun by “Crazy Abe” Lincoln, and continue the incremental imposition of the principles of communism in America.

    The American Founders gave Americans the one and only thing they could: Freedom.

    FDR gave over the country to parasites.

    Roosevelt spent money he didn’t have; money he illegally confiscated from free Americans; money which did not constitute “…general Welfare…” and money Congress had no power to tax for. America has been stuck with Roosevelt’s national “charity” for something approaching 100 years, and it is long past time that unconstitutional individual and specific welfare, redistribution of wealth and charity, in all of their various forms, are returned to the private sector, the only place the Constitution allows them to exist.

    FDR was a communist; an egomaniacal fool.

    The Communist Manifesto establishes the dominion of thieves and dictators for the temporary, illusive, ethereal and imaginary benefit of naive and gullible parasites.

    The Constitution establishes Freedom and Self-Reliance. That is all.
    ______________________________________________________

    “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

    – Maimonides

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