We should take the news that President Donald Trump has contracted COVID-19 for what it is: Trump is among more than 7 million confirmed U.S. cases.

What we shouldn’t do is turn the news into a political weapon to roll back the anemic reopening of the U.S. economy and use it as a reason to double-down on ineffective lockdowns and overreaching, unenforced restrictions on businesses and nonprofit organizations.

We wish the president and first lady Melania Trump a speedy and complete recovery. And we urge government officials to not use Trump’s diagnosis to further hobble what has been a slow and painful return to business and life.

The positive test for the leader of the world’s largest economy understandably brings more economic uncertainty.

Jeff Henriksen, co-founder and CEO of Thorpe Abbotts Capital, told CNBC the news “would thrust COVID-19 back into the spotlight for investors, upsetting the dueling narratives of COVID as a ‘slow disaster’ versus the belief that the United States is emerging out of the crisis into a strong recovery.”

Data released earlier Thursday showed joblessness remains widespread, news service Bloomberg reported. Last week, 837,000 Americans sought state unemployment benefits, still about four times the pre-pandemic level, while 11.8 million claimed continuing benefits the week before, the U.S Department of Labor said.

Although consumer fear about the virus is partly to blame, governmental closures and restrictions on businesses are largely to blame.

News the president of the United States has contracted coronavirus might be rattling. But it’s important to remember the disease can cause varying degrees of illness.

Trump is 74 and it’s proven COVID-19 can be especially dangerous for older adults in frail health and people with existing health problems, who are at risk of severe effects, including pneumonia. But for most of those affected, coronavirus creates only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, with the vast majority recovering from the virus.

The president’s opponents also shouldn’t waste their time waiting for a contrite Trump to change his ways, reverse his stance and approach the pandemic differently.

It’s possible, but unlikely, that Trump, who has pushed to keep the economy open through the pandemic to the dismay of his critics, will change his approach. It certainly isn’t his style, anyway.

But there are lessons we can learn from this. Trump’s diagnosis reminds us COVID-19 is real, is still with us and can be combatted by social distancing and wearing masks, measures that curb the virus’ spread and which Trump has neither practiced nor championed and has sometimes mocked.

“Every time you see him, he’s got a mask,” Trump said of his opponent Joe Biden during Tuesday night’s debate. “He could be speaking 200 feet away and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”

But as our knowledge of COVID-19 evolves, we understand draconian lockdowns aren’t the answer and might be part of the problem.

“A team of economists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently published the results of a study that compared various alternative strategies for limiting the spread of Covid-19,” a June 15 Wall Street Journal editorial argued.

“They concluded that twice as many lives could be saved if governments focused limited resources on protecting the most vulnerable people rather than squandering them on those who seem to face almost no risk, such as children.”

We’ve argued before and will again that our health largely lies in our own hands and not in a paternalistic government. Leaders can set examples but, ultimately, and as with everything in life, it’s up to us to navigate our own risks.

• Laura Elder

 Laura Elder: 409-683-5248; laura.elder@galvnews.com


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(32) comments

Charlotte O'rourke

Trump’s diagnosis is a call for government to practice what it preaches. Don’t close bars and other businesses if government is unwilling to comply with its own rules. Don’t hold fundraisers and rallies and meetings without face masks or social distancing, and then wonder why people don’t listen or comply with CDC guidelines.

Don’t make fun of others for wearing masks, send mixed messages, and expect comprehension from the masses and obeying “parental” do as I say (sometimes) and not as I do.

My prayers and best wishes for a speedy recovery to President Trump and the First Lady.

Bailey Jones


Carlos Ponce

According to the CDC men in Donald Trump's condition have a 94.6% survival rate. No need to panic. Wear a mask where required but otherwise use your head.

Playing the blame game is foolish when you don't have all the facts.

Did Trump acquire the Chines Virus while at a rally? YOU DON'T KNOW!

Did Trump acquire the Chinese virus at a fundraiser? YOU DON'T KNOW!

Did Trump acquire the Chinese virus at a meeting? YOU DON'T KNOW!

George Caros


Charlotte O'rourke

I agree we don’t know where ..... But we do know that private businesses are being required to>

Distance customers 6 feet

Wear masks

Limit capacity

Not open at all because customers may not follow the rules because of alcohol

Double standards = hypocrisy

Government should follow its own rules if it expects private businesses to do so.

Anyone can get covid anywhere. The plan should be to minimize risk through uniformly applied health and safety protocols.

Carlos Ponce

You forgot the most important thing - TEST!

Charlotte O'rourke

I did leave out tests. Good catch. My point wasn’t to blame anyone or state where it was picked up. The point is whatever the standards are - government as public business - should follow the same protocols being advocated for private business and citizens.

Government should not be exempt from rules and are not exempt from catching and spreading covid 19.

Jim Forsythe

For Trump’s age range, the rate ratio for hospitalization was 5 times higher and for deaths it was 90 times higher. About 85% of those who died of COVID-19 in the U.S. were age 65 or higher.

For every 1,000 people in their mid-seventies or older who are infected, around 116 will die.

Carlos Ponce

"Gov. Ron DeSantis also tweeted about the update, saying people in the age groups of 0 to 19 have a 99.997% chance of survival if they contract COVID-19, the age group of 20 to 49 a 99.98% chance, 50 to 69 years old 99.5% and 70 years old and above a 94.6% chance". Information at:


Paula Flinn

Trump and the First Lady’s diagnoses are calls for the government to follow the scientists’ advice and practice what it preaches. [thumbup]

Charles Douglas

Everyone should note that NOT ONE Progressive poster mentioned that ANTIFA, & ALL the other anti Conservative mobs who LOOT, burn, teardown, kill, beat Ole seniors with 2x4s, and who have been creating riots and upheaval in American streets and cities recently ....should be wearing Masks and keeping social distances! Notice that? All they want is thatTrump fail or perish from this virus! Stop worrying about Trump! I and many others have prayed for him, and have not thought about it since! That is how faith works! God said to pray for your Leaders and those in authority! ( 1 Timothy 2:1-3 ) I wonder how many have been praying for Trump on a regular basis? Trump has a job he has been called & ordained to do, and he has not finished it yet. Therefore, he is not going anywhere anytime soon! Lololo. This virus is not going to be anymore successful against Trump than the Russian Hoax was! Lololo. We know how that turned out right? Here is something I consider on a daily basis that many people never consider nor find time to worry about: " It is appointed for man once to die; after that the Judgement!" Hebrews 9:27. Talking about the Great White THRONE Judgement ...where those who lived on earth thought they knew more that GOD. Talking about a room where those who were smarter than GOD will end up before being assigned to the LAKE OF FIRE! They considered what was practical to do while they lived,.. juxtapose to doing what GOD SAID TO DO! They did like Frank Sinartra's song said, " I DID IT MYYYYY - WAYYYY!"

Don't worry about Trump, they world will not get rid of him this easy, Trust me.

Mike Zeller

Charles, did it ever cross your mind, maybe GOD is not pleased with Trump, and he is giving him a little taste of his own medicine. [beam]

Carlos Ponce

God's people know God is pleased with his servant in the White House.

Gary Scoggin

Carlos, I think some of God’s people think that but not all of God’s people think that. And, by the way, we are all God’s people.

Carlos Ponce

We all start out as God's people but remember He will separate the goats from the sheep.

Catholic Catechism 675 "Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh."

Many will be deceived. The acceptance of abortion is but one facet of this deception. But through it we know who is doing God's will and who is not. In this country we have one party who is following God's will and one that is not.

Gary Scoggin

That sheep and goat thing is God’s decision, not Man’s. But many like to take it upon themselves to do God’s job for him instead of doing what he assigned to us. (For example, make sure you look at the rest of that chapter in Matthew.)

With regards to abortion, as I’ve said many times before, I am pro-life. (Not just the Republican version of pro-life but real pro-life.) And that’s why I point out that since Roe v Wade, abortion rates have had much higher drops during Democratic administrations than Republican ones. Seems to me if you really wanted to stop abortions you’d vote Democrat.

Carlos Ponce

"Seems to me if you really wanted to stop abortions you’d vote Democrat." That's crazy. Quite evident which side those who have no problem with abortion are on -- and it's not God's! If you study the word of the Lord you will know abortion is inherently evil.

Gary Scoggin

I'll submit to God's judgement. But not yours, Carlos.

Carlos Ponce

then I'll just shake the dust from my sandals.

Mike Zeller

Let me tell you what's going to happen. Trump is going to recover from his bout with Covid-19(Amen). He's going to tell everyone, see I'm 74 and I made it thru ok, no problem. He won't mention that he had the "best of the best" treatments, that nobody else gets. He will not have learned his lesson. He may thank his Doctors (maybe) but claim it was his good fitness and genes that got him thru this. He will not change his position and urge people to please wear masks and social distance. He will be the same selfish, racist, narcissist and liar he has always been. Vote Blue in numbers to big to rig.

Carlos Ponce

Trump is taking experimental treatments on advice from his doctors and to further advance research using that treatment.

Mike, when you hear Trump has won re-election, please don't do anything drastic.

Charles Douglas

That was a good one! I like Mr. Zeller! I'm going to put him on my celebration list for November 3rd. We will toast to the coming success. "OG" & Mr. JONES are already coming! We gonna have a lotta fun! We might get some new Republicans ....that night! [wink]

Wayne D Holt

Another great column and the wrap-up is really the most fundamental part of this entire issue. Americans have been represented for years, under both Republican and Democrat leadership, by a government that believes in force, emergency decree, violence, coercion and squeezing people...whether those people live overseas or in our own country.

It is way past time that this dangerous, illegal and ultimately immoral posture be reversed. The American people have a long tradition of helping others, pitching in, and providing inspiring examples of altruism. The American people haven't failed, our government has failed us.

It has failed to provide an example of honorable conduct, cooperation and encouragement to do the right thing. It has substituted brute force, demanded blind obedience and encouraged a two-tier system of justice to grow up around us that protects the connected and crushes the common person.

Government has become the preferred destination of those who wish to exercise power over others while enriching themselves with impunity. Is everyone in government like this? Of course not. But when white hat whistle-blowers are routinely persecuted to discourage the exposure of government corruption, you can be sure you are talking about systemic rot in the way we are governed.

Regarding government overreach, ineptitude, arbitrariness and blind belief in itself, the response to Covid-19 is a textbook example. At a time when this virus' fatality rate has been reduced to that of past flu seasons, we are still battling everyone from Washington to City Hall to try to gain some degree of normalcy for the future.

I have stated before and I will again: if we take the examples of those like Thoreau, let along Jefferson, Madison and Martin Luther King Jr., the time has come to engage in civil disobedience to the irrational and destructive demands that government seems to be incapable of correcting.

We do not owe one bit more allegiance to a failed policy that has set back our nation by a decade or more, if we even can come out of this in one piece. Government has destroyed our economy, and in classic bureaucratic fashion, is working overtime in CYA mode to obscure their responsibility.

Wake up, America. We've been had.

Joel Martin


Chuck DiFalco


Ted Gillis

Trump is the religious right’s Cyrus.

He may not be religious himself, but God is working through him to achieve God’s will, or some other kind of claim. I’m sure Carlos will find the correct biblical quote and correct me.

Carlos Ponce

"God is working through him to achieve God’s will." Ted posted it, not me! I just quoted him.

Chuck DiFalco

"draconian lockdowns aren’t the answer and might be part of the problem" That's correct, Ms. Elder. Lockdowns on businesses, which also means on workers, are only going to make Great Depression 2.0 worse.

Wayne D Holt


Charles Douglas

Mr. Ponce> You are right on target "OG!" ( ISAIAH 44:28 & ISAIAH 45: 1-4) 2 Chronicles 36: 22-23 says God stirred up Cyrus to facilitate the Jews going back to Jerusalem to build the Temple, but in Isaiah 44 & 45 dipicted a time when it was prophesied over 150 years before Cyrus was Born and came to power, that God would use him for his purposes and will. D.J. Trump boldly told everybody to go take a hike when he became the first American President to recognize Jerusalem as the true capital of Israel!

He did that being unafraid like all the others before him had been! You don't have to be afraid when GOD has your back! I found that out numerous times in my travels in This country and out of it. Trump's administration is divinely tied to Israel and there is no two ways about it. They have things named after Trump in Israel! He has THREE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE nominations for engineering peace between Israel and their enemies, which experts said could not be done!

Trump predicted before he was elected that he would get peace deals for Israel,...promises which he has produced on now! Now somebody tell me that This man was not Called to be who he is, and to do what he is doing!! Obama sent a hit squad to Israel to plot against BB Netanyahu to get him out as Prime Minister, but it did not work! When Trump's work is done like Cyrus' was...then he will leave on his on volition, until then ..no Russian Hoax, no Fake Impeachment, no Bogus Quid Pro Quo, Stormy Daniels, China Pandermic, or anything or anybody else is going to usurp the will, and call of God on Trump's life! However, it is a free country, keep trying if you must........

Mike Zeller

Trump did exactly what I said he would do, what a POS.

“Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!” the president wrote.

Bailey Jones

And already being echoed by the Trumpuppets.

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