A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 193rd Unpresidented Week As POTUS

The Trump Administration downplayed coronavirus as it plagued the US. Now, they're downplaying coronavirus as it plagues President Trump.
President Trump departing the White House for Walter Reed Medical Center and Dr. Sean Conley giving a weekend press briefing on Trump’s health. (C-SPAN)

President Trump departing the White House for Walter Reed Medical Center and Dr. Sean Conley giving a weekend press briefing on Trump’s health. (C-SPAN)

Trump’s first major typo after winning the election was spelling Unprecedented incorrectly. He infamously tweeted “Unpresidented.” This typo is emblematic of his administration: An impulsive, frantically thrown together group of characters with virtually no oversight. After Trump was sworn in, I started writing the weekly “Unpresidented” column, analyzing every week of his presidency. This is week 193.

I want to start this article by saying that all of us at Rantt Media, along with the rest of the country, wish President Trump a speedy recovery. We also wish his team would stop lying to us about the health of the President of the United States, just as they lied to us throughout the course of this pandemic. Now, more than ever, we need this administration to be straightforward with us and they are refusing to do so.

The President of the United States is hospitalized for a deadly disease, and his comorbidities put him at higher risk of serious illness. Meanwhile, his doctor was telling us he’s doing well while his Chief of Staff was leaking to the press that his condition has been “very concerning.” After President Trump tweeted out his diagnosis, the White House said President Trump had mild symptoms. Then, he was suddenly admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center. Let’s take a look at how we’ve been misled throughout the course of this past week.

After flouting CDC guidelines for months, the White House is now a victim of their own failures to contain coronavirus. We first found out about Hope Hicks’s positive COVID-19 test from Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Jacobs. How long would they have waited to tell us if she didn’t report it? They did not immediately alert Biden’s campaign and others who were in contact with Trump’s team. It appears they were trying to keep this quiet. Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that President Trump knew early on Thursday evening and didn’t disclose it on his Fox News interview.

It’s also not clear when exactly President Trump contracted COVID-19, but he likely contracted it between Friday and Wednesday. Last Saturday’s Amy Coney Barrett maskless nomination event appears to have been a superspreader. So far, those who attended the event and subsequently tested positive include, President Trump, Melania Trump, Hope Hicks, Trump Campaign Manager Bill Stepien, Kellyanne Conway, Senator Mike Lee, Senator Thom Tillis, Notre Dame President Jenkins, former Governor Chris Christie, and 3 White House reporters.

There were also 11 people who tested positive that attended Tuesday’s debate. RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tested positive and was in contact with the president on Friday. Senator Ron Johnson has also tested positive as well. We still don’t know when President Trump’s last negative test was. And we’re not getting any clarity from President Trump’s team of doctors.

As I also wrote in The Independent, this White House and Trump’s physician Dr. Sean Conley have given us a flurry of misinformation:

Just look at the way the White House handled White House advisor Hope Hicks’s Wednesday Covid-19 diagnosis. Chief of staff Mark Meadows said the White House learned of her diagnosis just as Marine One was taking off on Wednesday. That means president Trump still attended a fundraiser knowing that he had been exposed to the virus and still engaged with 100 people.

On Saturday morning, Trump’s doctors raised even more questions. They would not clearly answer whether Trump has ever been on oxygen. Multiple reporters subsequently reported they believed he had been on Friday. One of the doctors, Dr Conley, said we are 72 hours into Trump’s diagnosis, even though we first learned only 36 hours ago. Dr Conley later tried to walk this back, stating that Trump’s diagnosis came on Thursday evening. Dr Conley’s statements about Trump doing well were also contradicted by the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, who told reporters that Trump went through a “very concerning” past 24 hours. This is when we need absolute transparency and honesty from the White House most, and we’re not getting it.

On top of this, President Trump is currently taking powerful drugs that indicate his condition is worse than his doctors are presenting telling the public. Trump is reportedly furious with Meadows about telling the truth. On Sunday, Dr. Conley further contradicted his earlier statements by confirming that President Trump was indeed on oxygen on Friday. This was after directly saying that wasn’t the case the day before:

Dr. Conley didn’t just refuse to answer whether Trump had oxygen, he outright lied and said that Trump wasn’t on oxygen on Friday or Saturday. These are just pointless lies that further erode their credibility. How can we trust anything they say about his condition?

In response to why he misled the American people, Dr. Conley told reporters: “I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, that his course of illness has had. I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction.”

How exactly would telling the truth “steer the course of illness in another direction”? It’s clear that Dr. Conley was trying to placate President Trump, who has reportedly been obsessing over the coverage from inside Walter Reed. Dr. Conley is yet another example in a long line of Trump officials that proves you either continue working for Trump long enough to see yourself get corrupted or you resign/get fired for doing the right thing.

The White House also tried to prop President Trump as if he is still actively working. The images they released were very clearly staged.

When you have the president signing blank pieces of paper to make it appear he’s not very sick, is satire even possible anymore? The White House’s messaging right now has gone full Weekend At Bernie’s. Meanwhile, Democratic nominee Joe Biden has responded to this situation with grace, taking down all negative ads and wishing President Trump well.

Given this vacuum of accurate information about President Trump’s condition, there will be bad-faith actors who try and take advantage of this situation. Social media companies need to prepare for the incoming flood of right-wing conspiracy theories about Trump’s COVID diagnosis. They will only get worse if Trump gets really sick. Given the right’s susceptibility to extremism, disinformation alleging Trump was targeted is dangerous.

Of course, that was just the final part of this week, a lot more happened. We have to at least briefly talk about Tuesday’s debate and some of the key moments.

Moments like these require unrelenting truthtelling. We take pride in being reader-funded. If you like our work, support our journalism.

My broad takeaways from the debate: President Trump lost. He needed to make up ground and likely only deepened his unfavorables with his depraved behavior. Trump was an unhinged lying mess. His worst moments were not condemning white supremacy, mocking Biden for wearing a mask, and attacking Biden’s living son while he talked about his dead son. Biden still managed to hit his key points, flexed his empathy, and stood his ground against Trump’s onslaught of interruptions. Trump’s “cognitive decline” narrative about Biden is completely dead. Chris Wallace didn’t do a good job of moderating and the lack of fact-checking wasn’t a good idea.

We have to also remember Biden is ahead by double digits in multiple national polls and crushing Trump in multiple swing states. It was on Trump to start making up ground and close that gap. He did nothing but harm himself. It’s October so he doesn’t have much time to turn this around. Overall it was chaotic, but a net positive for Biden, as polls would later indicate.

Before President Trump’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis, we were in a seemingly endless news cycle about President Trump’s failure to condemn white supremacy and “stand back and stand by” comments he made to the Proud Boys. I just have to say the fact the Proud Boys and other modern neo-fascist white supremacist groups don’t feel the need to wear hoods and hide their identities is a scary development in American racism and why Donald Trump’s coddling of white supremacists is so dangerous. We need to get to a place where white supremacists aren’t “proud” anymore.

Let’s dive into another Unpresidented week as we head into what will surely be another week for the history books.

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Trump’s Taxes

Day 1,348: Monday, September 28

Donald Trump stands with Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. before he speaks at a press conference at Trump Tower on January 11, 2017 in New York City. (AP)

Donald Trump stands with Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. before he speaks at a press conference at Trump Tower on January 11, 2017 in New York City. (AP)

Monday’s top stories:

The First Trump-Biden Debate

Day 1,349: Tuesday, September 29

Tuesday’s top stories:

Post-Debate Fallout

Day 1,350: Wednesday, September 30

Joe Biden (Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons) and Donald Trump (AP)

Joe Biden (Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons) and Donald Trump (AP)

Wednesday’s top stories:

Hope Hicks Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Day 1,351: Thursday, October 1

Thursday’s top stories:

Trump Contracts COVID-19, Goes To Walter Reed

Day 1,352: Friday, October 2

President Trump arrives at Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday, October 4, 2020. (C-SPAN)

President Trump arrives at Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday, October 4, 2020. (C-SPAN)

Friday’s top stories:

Rantt Media and ZipRecruiter

Unpresidented // 2020 / Coronavirus / Debates / Donald Trump / Dr. Conley / Elections / Health / Joe Biden