Prominent Democrats, including former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, added their voices to the stream of those wishing President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump well after the pair tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Obama took to Twitter Friday to share a message of support on behalf of himself and his wife.
“Michelle and I hope that the president, first lady, and all those affected by the coronavirus around the country are getting the care they need and are on the path to a speedy recovery,” the former president wrote, adding: “Obviously, we’re in the midst of a big political battle right now, and while there’s a lot at stake, let’s remember that we’re all Americans. We’re all human beings. And we want everyone to be healthy, no matter our party.”
Hillary Clinton, speaking on her behalf and that of former President Bill Clinton, sent regards to the Trumps and those in their orbit.
“We wish the president and first lady a speedy recovery, and hope for the safety of the White House staff, the Secret Service, and others putting their lives on the line,” Clinton wrote on Twitter. “This pandemic has affected so many. We must continue to protect ourselves, our families, and communities,” she added.
Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris shared wishes for a quick recovery on her behalf and that of her husband.
“Doug and I join Joe Biden and Dr. Biden in wishing President Trump and the first lady a full and speedy recovery. We’re keeping them and the entire Trump family in our thoughts,” Harris wrote on Twitter.
Biden, who earlier shared his well-wishes in a message on social media, traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Friday, where at a rally he struck a message of national unity.
“This cannot be a partisan moment. It must be an American moment. We have to come together as a nation,” the former vice president said at the podium, speaking while wearing a mask and insisting, “we can get this pandemic under control.”
Biden’s call for unity comes as messages wishing Trump a speedy recovery stand in stark contrast with posts on social media wishing the president ill. A notable case is a since-deleted tweet by a former top campaign staffer to both Hillary Clinton and Obama, who wrote: “It’s been against my moral identity to tweet this for the past four years, but, I hope he dies.” The post drew backlash, while Twitter and Facebook said late Friday they would remove posts that wish or hope for Trump’s death.
A new MorningConsult poll, meanwhile, found that 40 percent of respondents who identified as Democrats said they were “happy” that the commander-in-chief fell ill.
Democrat members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) expressed messages of support.
Pelosi told MSNBC in an interview that, “we all received that news with great sadness,” adding, “I always pray for the president and his family that they’re safe.” She also used the opportunity to criticize Trump for not taking precautions amid the outbreak, like wearing a mask.
“This is tragic, it’s very sad, but it also is something that going into crowds, unmasked and all the rest, was sort of a brazen invitation for this to happen,” Pelosi said, adding, “Maybe this will be the moment where people will say, ‘OK, masks, distances, sanitation, tracing, treatment.'”
Schumer wished the Trumps a “speedy recovery” and echoed Pelosi’s critical remarks.
“What happened to President Trump is a reminder of why the whole country, including senators and staff, must follow the science and follow the protocols laid out by the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and public health officials,” Schumer said Friday.
Trump, in a video message on Friday, expressed gratitude for the kind messages.
“I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support. I’m going to Walter Reed Hospital. I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out. The first lady is doing very well. So thank you very much I appreciate it. I will never forget it. Thank you.”
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said earlier on Friday that “Trump remains in good spirits, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day.” She said the president will remain at the hospital “for the next few days” out of an “abundance of caution.”
A number of key people in regular contact with the president all tested negative after Trump’s diagnosis: Barron Trump, the president’s youngest son, Vice President Mike Pence, second lady Karen Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
In addition to taking Regeneron’s experimental antibody cocktail, the president has been taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin, and a daily aspirin, according to his physician.
Allen Zhong contributed to this report.
*Note: this article was corrected to reflect that Sen. Chuck Schumer is the Senate Minority Leader