Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

Healthcare professionals struggle with Trump’s decisions during pandemic

As  Election Day rapidly approaches, President Trump has been unsuccessful in garnering the approval of healthcare professionals in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, due to his dismissal of scientific evidence and expert-recommended best practices.

Physician’s Assistant student, Paige Bowser, questions President Trump’s commitment to the safety of the American people after holding a large in-person, indoor rally in Nevada on September 13, 2020. Photo by Paige Bowser

“He [Trump] knows exactly what is going on,” said Paige Bowser, 26, a physician’s assistant student at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas. “If he can’t put above his own wants and needs for this next election, then he doesn’t have the country’s best interest in mind.” 

Trump has rarely been seen in public wearing a mask, although the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the practice as crucial to slowing the spread of coronavirus back in March. It was reported that President Trump had expressed concerns of appearing “ridiculous” if he was to be seen masked — a sentiment which Leah Wainstock, 26, a registered nurse in Olathe, Kansas, took issue with. 

“In my mind, I say, ‘well Mr. President, I wear a mask and it makes me strong so that I can do my job and take care of people,’” said Wainstock. “As the president, he should be setting an example, and I think he hasn’t…” 

President Trump has not followed CDC guidelines for face-covering, and social-distancing measures by holding large in-person, indoor campaign rallies, such as the September 13th rally in Henderson, Nevada. The rally brought together over 6,000 attendees, most of whom were unmasked and in very close proximity to each other. 

Paige Bowser has little faith that the President’s intentions were good. 

“It makes it hard to believe that he truly cares about the wellbeing of the citizens of the United States if he is holding a rally like that,” she said. 

Registered nurse, Leah Wainstock, sees Trump’s intentional downplaying of the coronavirus as cowardly. Photo courtesy of Leah Wainstock

Trump has also chosen to intentionally downplay the coronavirus to the American public which was recently exposed by journalist Bob Woodward. This has also affected his reputation among healthcare workers. 

“If American people are dying, wouldn’t you as the sitting president want to do everything you could to protect your country?” said Wainstock. “I think it shows he’s a coward.” 

Xavier Bledsoe, 26, a medical student currently pursuing a double PhD and MD degree in Tennessee, believes Trump’s intentional deception stemmed from apathy toward the nation’s most vulnerable. 

Xavier Bledsoe, a student pursuing a double phD and MD degree, views the Trump administration’s dissemination of misinformation as comparable to the misinformation spread by anti-vaxxers. Photo by Xavier Bledsoe

“There are a couple of reasons…one of which is a lack of concern for the disenfranchised, the poor, and minorities…when the research came out that those are the groups that are predominantly harmed by Covid, the push from the White House came to open things back up again, against the CDC’s recommendations,” said Bledsoe. 

Bledsoe also expressed disdain for Dr. Scott Atlas, President Trump’s newest Coronavirus Taskforce Advisor.

“I am really disappointed that someone who is a member of this profession that carries a tremendous amount of responsibility, would use that responsibility poorly, in supporting policies that are not in the best interest of the people,” he said. 

Dr. Atlas, while highly praised by Trump, has been criticized by the scientific and medical communities for perpetuating falsities about coronavirus and the pandemic. He has, against expert consensus, proposed herd immunity as a possible solution to the rapid Covid spread, advocating for states to further open. 

For Bledsoe, the handling of the virus by the Trump administration is comparable to anti-vaxxer parents. 

“These are victims of misinformation, both in the case of children contracting preventable illnesses [from not being vaccinated], and also patients who contract covid,” he said “….they have heard misinformation and believed it and acted in a way that they thought was ideal but actually was not. So the people who are disseminating this information are responsible for those outcomes.” 



Other Stories in Special Report: Shutdown: The Coronavirus

The Spirit of Little Haiti

Savannah Daniels October 14, 2020

Small business owners hope for future relief

Courtney Guarino October 2, 2020

Brooklyn Book Festival held virtually

Chuyan Jiang September 28, 2020

NYC Restaurant owners worry about maintaining business during winter 

Isabel Beer September 27, 2020

The pandemic is causing mental health struggles for many Latinos

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 24, 2020

Politically divided family can agree on one thing, rallies are bad during a pandemic

Michelle Diaz September 23, 2020

New Yorkers are vulnerable to mental issues due to pandemic

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 23, 2020

Some Americans Say “Not So Fast” on Operation Warp Speed

James Pothen September 23, 2020

Trump voters unfazed by morality of Trump’s Covid response

Norah Hogan September 22, 2020

Trump rallies continue, despite the rising Covid-19 death toll

Isabel Beer September 22, 2020

Latinos weigh in on President Trump’s management of the pandemic

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 21, 2020

Fast track vaccine causes fear

Kaity Assaf September 21, 2020

It’s business as usual at McSorley’s Old Ale House

Tori Luecking September 20, 2020

Trump defiance to hold indoor rallies amidst COVID-19 sparks polarized responses 

Courtney Guarino September 20, 2020

NYC Cafes and restaurants try and survive the pandemic

Isabel Beer September 19, 2020

A typical afternoon at Shade Bar NYC

Kaity Assaf September 19, 2020

West Village staple, Caffe Reggio, remains open for outdoor dining in the wake of coronavirus restrictions 

Norah Hogan September 19, 2020

Fort Greene’s Dino adds outdoor dining to keep business flowing

Courtney Guarino September 19, 2020

COVID-19 hampers Fashion Week for photographers

Daniel Karel September 18, 2020

On the heels of revelation that Trump downplayed the covid threat, voters question rallies resuming

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 16, 2020

Overburdened mothers in Pakistan are relieved as schools reopens

Quratulain Tejani September 13, 2020

Students from different parts of the world struggle as schools reopen during a pandemic

Chuyan Jiang September 12, 2020

Special needs students face learning obstacles during Covid-19

Courtney Guarino September 12, 2020

Back to school – COVID-19 style 

Isabel Beer September 12, 2020

The new normal for school life is abnormal in Michigan

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 11, 2020

California School District Parents and Teachers Clash About Return to School

Norah Hogan September 10, 2020

A tribute to the mask pioneers

Bohao Liu July 11, 2020

Air pollution in China rebounds to pre-COVID level

Hannah Zhang July 11, 2020

ICE takes aim at international students

Maria Abreu July 10, 2020

Chinese students trapped by new ICE policy

Zishu Sherry Qin July 10, 2020

New ICE policy adds more turmoil to the lives of international students

Shiyu Xu July 10, 2020

Lawsuits follow ICE policy barring international students who are taking online classes

Joanna Lin Su July 10, 2020

Economists say the US needs a bold, generous fiscal response. Congress is likely to disappoint. 

Ahmed Mohamed July 9, 2020

Overseas Singaporeans have pandemic obstacles to voting

Yifan Yu July 9, 2020

Proximity sensors and hygiene stations are the “new normal”

Joanna Lin Su July 9, 2020

 Tour ticket vendors miss the hustle and bustle of Times Square

Narkwor Kwabla July 8, 2020

Dengue outbreak could be a greater threat than covid in Singapore

Yifan Yu July 8, 2020

Corporate bankruptcy: ‘A story that’s not going away’

Gaurav Sharma July 7, 2020

Beijing reopens as the second wave of coronavirus dies down

Hannah Zhang July 6, 2020

Masks or no masks?

Bohao Liu July 5, 2020

Varsity Flu

Madeline Gunderson July 3, 2020

Rail travel in China is popular during the pandemic and filled with safety measures

Bohao Liu July 3, 2020

Brazilian international student caught in US travel ban.

Marina Guimaraes July 3, 2020

MTA faces crisis following COVID shutdown

Daniel Girma July 2, 2020

Easter Market goes back to its roots

Kyla Milberger July 2, 2020

China’s Airline Industry Aims to Lure Back Passengers with Unlimited Flight Pass

Zishu Sherry Qin July 1, 2020

US corporate debt soars during coronavirus outbreak

Gaurav Sharma June 30, 2020

In Singapore, gay pride goes online

Yifan Yu June 29, 2020

The Hair Room reopens

Shiyu Xu June 29, 2020

A second wave of the coronavirus creates travel woes in Beijing

Hannah Zhang June 29, 2020