Will Trump’s COVID diagnosis change behavior?


President Trump diagnosed with coronavirus late Thursday

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With President Trump at the Walter Reed Medical Center for treatment after being diagnosed with COVID-19, supporters and opponents alike are wishing him and First Lady Melania Trump a speedy recovery.

Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley did just that and also reminded everyone that the novel coronavirus is clearly far from gone.

There is still a lot of concern over how and when the Trumps contracted the virus. But doctors said it’s a reminder to mask up when around others, especially indoors.

Dr. Ann Thomas with the Oregon Health Authority told KOIN 6 News she hopes the fact that since even the President of the United States is not immune will encourage people to take precautions.

“At this point the best prevention we have is to wear face coverings and maintain distancing and avoid large crowds,” Dr. Thomas said. “I think we see what happens when someone doesn’t do those things.”

But mask wearing months after the coronavirus pandemic began is still a controversial topic.

At an area post office, mask wearers who spoke with KOIN 6 News shared their thoughts on if the president’s diagnosis will make more people mask believers.

“You still see people that don’t quite believe it or think it’s a conspiracy. You see all range of opinions that are there. But it can reach out and hit anybody even to the highest levels of our country,” one person said. “I think it will bring more awareness and people will take it more seriously.”

Another said that after the election a lot of “attention and reports of COVID that may or may not be misleading” will go away. “But I think we will have it under control by the end of the year.”

Yet another put their belief in science.

“I don’think it’s a logical thing. I think people that are not wearing them are defying what scientists are saying and what health officials tell us. And he (Trump) didn’t listen to them and doesn’t believe that and he’s gotten it.”

Dr. Thomas said she thinks “this is evidence that maybe because you haven’t been anyone who has COVID or you don’t know anyone who has COVID, you relax your guard and say ‘I’m not going to do this anymore.’ But it always comes back until we have a vaccine.”

As of Friday, the death toll in Oregon from the coronavirus stands at 563 and the overall cases to 34,163. Another 314 people were included in the daily case count.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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