President Trump was quick to downplay the pandemic upon his return from Walter Reed in a tweeted video encouraging people not to let the virus dominate or scare them. He said they would beat the virus, just as he's convinced himself that he's got his licked.
The president's attitude reflects a reality that denies the 209,000 (and counting) people who have already died from the virus and a stunning inability to admit weakness. Unfortunately, the nation has to pay for it.
We still don't know when he was first infected or when he learned he was contagious. We do know that he is one of 25 (and counting) people in his orbit who have tested positive in recent days and that he traveled to a campaign rally in Minnesota and a fundraiser in New Jersey -- sans mask -- after learning he was infected.
How much sympathy should we have for a president who has actively withheld or misconstrued information that could have prevented deaths from COVID? Yet, what does it say about who we are becoming as people and as a culture if we can't offer a morsel of sympathy?
Also this hour: A group of data specialists developed a White House COVID Tracker to chart the impact of COVID on political leaders and those they come in contact with. Unfortunately, the White House refuses to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to trace exposures that could save lives.
- John F. Harris is the co-founder of Politico and the author of The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House; he writes "Altitude," a weekly column for Politico) (@harrispolitico)
- Peter Walker leads the White House COVID Tracker, a crowd-sourced database for the White House COVID outbreak, and is head of growth at Public Relay (@PeterJ_Walker)
Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show.