Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to support our work—that time is now.

Our mission is simple: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

But without the support of our readers, this model does not work and we simply won’t survive. It’s that simple.
We must meet our Mid-Year Campaign goal but we need you now.

Please, support independent journalism today.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

U.S. President Donald Trump makes his way to board Air Force One before departing from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on October 1, 2020 and heading to Bedminster, New Jersey for a fundraiser. (Photo by Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images)

Timeline of Trump's Illness Confounds Experts, But Critics Say What's Clear Is President 'Knowingly Exposed People' to Covid-19

"A thing that happens when you lie compulsively for years...is that NO ONE F***ING BELIEVES YOU."

Julia Conley

Journalists and public health experts on Saturday raised questions over the mixed messages coming out of the White House and President Donald Trump's medical team after Dr. Sean Conley, the president's physician, told reporters Trump was "72 hours into the diagnosis" of Covid-19. 

Observers quickly noted that this would mean the president first tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday, the day after the first presidential debate. 

"Did he attend a rally in Minnesota on Wednesday and then a fundraiser in New Jersey on Thursday AFTER his doctor thought he had coronavirus?" asked MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi.

An anonymous White House official told the Washington Post shortly after Conley's briefing that the doctor "misspoke," but even the White House's attempts to correct Conley regarding whether Trump was diagnosed 72 hours before the Saturday press conference led to more confusion, as NBC News reported:

Another doctor treating the president, Dr. Brian Garibaldi, said [Trump] had been treated "48 hours" ago—Thursday morning—with antibodies.

But a White House official later disputed the timeline, saying Trump had been diagnosed Thursday night and that the doctors meant Trump was on "day 3," not a full 72 hours in on his diagnosis.

The official also said that the antibody treatment was given later Thursday night, not a full 48 hours ago.

On Saturday afternoon, Conley issued a statement through the White House saying Trump had been diagnosed on Thursday night, and given the antibody treatment on Friday.

"I incorrectly used the term 'seventy-two hours' instead of 'day three' and 'forty eight hours' instead of 'day two' with regards to his diagnosis and the administration of the polyclonal antibody therapy," Conley said in a statement.

Conley wasn't the doctor who said Trump had been given antibodies 48 hours ago, though; Garibaldi said that.

"The problem is that we should know, we should have a better idea of what the actual status is of the president," Dr. Craig Spencer, an emergency medicine physician at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, told the Times. "We need more of a scientific update, as opposed to a political one." 

The confusion led some Minnesota residents who attended the president's outdoor rally Wednesday night in Duluth to reconsider the gathering in hindsight, the Times reported—"thinking back on how tightly the crowd was spaced, whom they might have spoken to, and whether the coronavirus precautions that organizers had arranged were sufficient."

Other Trump supporters who were in attendance dismissed safety concerns, taking on the attitude the president has publicly displayed for months—despite the fact that he knew as early as February and March that the coronavirus was deadly and highly contagious through airborne transmission.

"We're not mask wearers," one attendee who was standing directly in front of Trump at the rally told the Times.  

Kris Ehresmann, director of the Minnesota Department of Health’s Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Division, advised anyone who came near the president at the Duluth event to get tested for Covid-19. 

"There is a potential risk that transmission occurred at the Duluth rally and other events associated with President Trump's visit," Ehresmann said in a statement.

Trump critics wrote on social media that beyond potentially exposing well-connected Republican members of his circle to the virus by holding a White House event last Saturday in honor of Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, in what has been called a "superspreader event," the president and his team apparently this week exposed hundreds in not thousands of other people with far fewer resources to cope with the disease if they become infected. 

Regardless of when Trump was diagnosed, some critics said, the president doubtlessly attended a fundraiser in Bedminster, New Jersey on Thursday after being exposed to his advisor Hope Hicks, who tested positive for Covid-19 that day. 

"This is a judgment issue, a fitness to lead issue, and Trump failed the test," tweeted former U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance. 

Journalist Rebecca Traister tweeted that Trump's approach to the coronavirus crisis as well as a number of other closely-watched political issues during his presidency—with the Washington Post counting more than 20,000 false or misleading statements since he took office, as of July—has led to an inability among public health experts and journalists to take the White House's claims about Trump's condition and prognosis at face value.

"A thing that happens when you lie compulsively for years," tweeted Traister, "is that NO ONE FUCKING BELIEVES YOU."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·


Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·


'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·


'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo