Our Best Work From a Surreal Week

We can make all the jokes we want about 2020—about how weeks feel like months and months like years, about how the writers of this season of America are really overdoing the surprise plot twists, about how we didn’t have murder hornets on our 2020 bingo card. But the events of this week, most notably President Trump’s announcement at about 1 a.m. Friday that he and Melania had tested positive for COVID-19, were no laughing matter. 

We were able to bring you the news early Friday morning because The Morning Dispatch crew was just putting the finishing touches on the newsletter when Trump tweeted. They scrapped the other items they’d been planning to publish and put together a thorough accounting of the news as we knew it at that point. But, as one would expect, the news evolved quickly. By late afternoon, Trump had taken Marine One to Walter Reed Hospital, where he’s expected to stay for a few days. 

On Friday morning, Steve and Sarah interviewed Dr. Jonathan Reiner on The Dispatch Podcast. He’s a cardiologist, professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, former physician to Vice President Dick Cheney, and a consultant to the White House Medical Unit during the Bush, Obama, and Trump years. 

We have a piece on the site today by Audrey that features analysis from Reiner’s interview and also provides updates on what we’ve learned since the interview took place, namely that several people who attended Donald Trump’s announcement of Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee have tested positive. Reiner explains why this event in particular was dangerous.

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