Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Trump's decision to leave Walter Reed is political, not medical. Biden a hit at town hall.

Biden’s lead in the polls continues to widen, and there is additional evidence that being the adult in the room is appreciated by voters and the stock market - neither of which responds well to craziness and volatility.

Here’s a recap of some of Trump’s decision to leave Walter Reed hospital. In answer to the question of what he’s learned from his sickness: nothing. He continues to be pestilence personified.

Heather Cox Richardson writes.

Although doctors expressed surprise and concern at the idea Trump might leave Walter Reed Hospital today, the president tweeted: “I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! 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!”

Doctors noted that he is in a dangerous period for the progression of Covid–19, and that anyone who had required the sorts of treatments Trump has had is too sick to leave the hospital. “I will bet dollars to doughnuts it’s the president and his political aides who are talking about discharge, not his doctors,” William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University’s medical school, told the Washington Post.

A briefing by Trump’s doctors obscured more than it revealed. The White House physician, Sean Conley, has refused to tell reporters when Trump last tested negative for coronavirus, a piece of information that would tell us when he knew he was infected. He also refused to explain why the president is being treated with a steroid usually reserved for seriously ill patients, or to discuss the state of Trump’s lungs. He did say that the president is “not out of the woods yet.”

Nonetheless, Trump left Walter Reed Hospital tonight, after lights had been installed to enable him to make a triumphant exit. Still infectious, he went back to the White House and climbed a flight of stairs to a balcony, where he dramatically removed his face mask and saluted well-wishers from a balcony. Although the moment was clearly designed to make Trump look strong, it was obvious he was struggling to breathe.

Meanwhile, on the campaign trail, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden held a town hall tonight in Miami, Florida, where he gave detailed answers to questions about police reform (more money, ban chokeholds and no knock warrants); socialism (“I’ve taken on the Castros of the world. I didn’t cozy up to them”); a mask mandate (the president can only mandate masks on federal property, but he would call on governors and mayors to do the same); and reopening schools (PPE, small classes, ventilation). Watchers noted that it was a treat both to see a normal conversation and to hear detailed, informed answers.

Bloomberg is reporting that the contrast between the recent craziness of the White House and Biden’s calm detail has led the stock market to stabilize. Strategists are coming to think there will not be a contested election after all. Biden’s lead over Trump increased again after Trump’s debate performance, which apparently was designed to try to bully Biden by hitting triggers until he began to stutter, thus enabling the Trump campaign to portray him as mentally incapacitated. That strategy failed as Biden parried the triggers, and Americans were repelled by Trump’s behavior. Peter Rosenstreich, head of market strategy at Swissquote Bank SA, told Bloomberg, “Polls are shifting from a close election and prolonged uncertainty to more a dominant Biden and clean succession…. That is reducing uncertainty and increasing risk appetite.”

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