Chaotic times have flooded Washington D.C. days before the election. A string of damaging news broke leading up to the President’s COVID-19 diagnosis.
On Sunday Sept. 27, The New York Times announced they had received decades of Donald Trump’s tax returns and published shocking takeaways. It was revealed that the president had paid $750 in federal taxes in both 2016 and 2017.
It also revealed that Trump’s businesses had reported massive losses, showing he had paid no income taxes in 10 of the last 15 years. Tax experts also have questioned the legitimacy of some of his tax deductions, including consulting fees for his children and $70,000 in ‘styling fees’ for his television appearances.
This report came just days before the Sept. 29 Presidential debate, where the sitting president faced off against the Democratic challenger, Joe Biden. Tensions were high as the two hopefuls spoke over each other, preventing either of them from announcing serious policy stances.
The President was criticized following the debate for his repeated interruptions of former Vice President Biden, as well as speaking over moderator, Fox News host Chris Wallace. Biden was also cited for missing opportunities to outline his policies on the presented topics and rather was caught up trying to respond to Trump.
Heavy criticism came in regard to Trump’s stance on white supremacist groups. Wallace asked the president if he would denounce white supremacist groups, to which Trump did not give an answer, he rather said “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.”
Overall, the debate was regarded as perhaps the worst debate in American history and could be seen as a greater reflection of the current divided nature of the country. Those weighing in after the debate concluded agreed that there was little advancement in either party’s hope to sway voters.
Questions about the pandemic were unavoidable, as Trump’s COVID-19 response has fielded criticism from public health experts as well as the American public. His defense of his handling of this crisis came just days before his own October 2 diagnosis.
On par with other announcements from this Administration, the public found out about his diagnosis from a 1 am tweet. At the time Trump said he and the First Lady would be quarantining in the White House, however within hours this plan changed.
Trump was transported via Marine One to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he could be monitored closer by health care professionals. He also revealed he had been given an experimental dose of Regeneron, an experimental drug cocktail. The treatment had shown promising results but has not been approved for mass usage.
As the President seems to be experiencing mild symptoms, his symptoms were “very concerning” on Friday, a White House Official said Saturday-Monday would be critical in his battle with the virus.
Other high-profile government officials have also tested positive for the coronavirus, including former adviser Kellyanne Conway, Senators Thom Tillis and Mike Lee, and Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie among others close to the President.
Speculation has fallen on the Rose Garden Ceremony in which Amy Coney Barrett was announced as Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee. Photos show that few attendees were wearing masks and no social distancing was observed. Many individuals who have subsequently tested positive were in attendance.
The remaining weeks leading up to the election are poised to be explosive, as the American voters head to the ballot box to cast their votes for president.