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October 2020: President Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis intensifies focus on his health and handling of pandemic

The Brief

October 12, 2020

President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis put renewed focus on his health and management of the pandemic and the school's experts are addressing domestic and global implications related to these areas of concern.

Johns Hopkins SAIS Dean Eliot A. Cohen analyzed President Trump’s missteps managing COVID-19 within the White House and beyond in The Atlantic, noting “the absence of contact tracing, the late notification to co-workers, and, above all, the pervasive disregard of and derision for the elementary health precautions urged by doctors to limit the spread of the disease.” Read more 
Senior Fellow of International Affairs and Agora Fellow in Residence Anne Applebaum wrote in The Atlantic “the president and everyone around him will spin and manipulate his illness” following his diagnosis. Read more 
Adjunct Lecturer of American Foreign Policy Charles Stevenson discussed the lack of transparency about the state of the president’s health with Kaiser Health News, telling the outlet it is “a matter of national security.” 
Majid Khadduri Professor of Middle East Studies and International Affairs Vali Nasr explained on CNN International’s Amanpour that coronavirus “could keep the president in limbo for another two to three weeks, and in world affairs, that is a pretty long time.” 
Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies John McLaughlin outlined how the U.S. military and intelligence agencies will remain on watch for the Yahoo News website, but warned “the president’s illness will serve to further focus the American body politic inward,” benefitting other countries. 
The Brief highlights Johns Hopkins SAIS expertise on current events and is produced monthly by the Office of Marketing and Communications.