Americans woke up to the news on Friday that President Trump and his wife Melania both had tested positive for the coronavirus. And like so many issues, the reaction often fell along political lines.
For some supporters of former Vice President Joe Biden, the news was a reminder of the gravity of the virus. One of them, Monica Scott, said she woke up her husband to tell him the news. She was having breakfast Friday morning with a friend at a coffee shop in Virginia Beach, Va.
“I think we are both hoping, ‘Hey, at the very least this might make someone who hasn’t taken this seriously take it seriously,'” the 32-year-old said.
Outside the shop, Inger Goss, a 56-year-old contract sanitation worker, was hauling away recycling bins. She said she distrusts anything coming from the White House, and wondered what to make of the news with the election just weeks away.
“First of all, he tells a lot of lies. A lot of things he says he’s gonna do he don’t do … and I just don’t trust him,” Goss said.
Amelia DaCruz voted for Trump in 2016 and is leaning toward voting for him again this year. She sees the president as strong and “too obnoxious” to be stopped by the virus.
“I’m more worried about Biden because if he got it I think he’d be much more impacted by it,” DaCruz said. “I think Trump’s pretty resilient and he’ll probably power on through it.”
DaCruz, 57, acknowledged that it’s impossible to predict how any individual’s immune system will respond to the virus.
At a Virginia Beach diner near the oceanfront, Gary Crawford, 81, said he’s concerned about the president’s health and sees him as the “right man for the job.”
But Crawford said Trump’s response to the pandemic has been lacking.
“It could have been better. Definitely could have been better,” he said. “That’s the one downfall I have with the way he reacted.”