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BY DANIEL WILLIAMS

October 7, 2020


Just Faith: Reclaiming Progressive Christianity, the new book by The Resistance Prays founder Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, is out now! Learn more here.
Trump's medical team providing round-the-clock care both at Walter Reed and at the White House
Photo credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Cutting-Edge COVID-19 Care For Trump, Not Available For Regular Folks - via NPR

Like hundreds of thousands of Americans who have been hospitalized with the coronavirus, President Trump is recovering at home after being discharged. Unlike most Americans, his home is equipped with a medical unit, where he will receive around-the-clock medical care from a team of physicians and nurses.

And the differences between his treatment and many people's don't stop there. The president has received cutting-edge care and VIP treatment since his diagnosis with COVID-19 last week, including a combination of treatments that would not have been available to most Americans early in the progression of the illness.

My siblings, your faith in our glorious savior Jesus Christ must not allow favoritism.  Suppose there should come into your assembly a person wearing gold rings and fine clothes and, at the same time, a poor person dressed in shabby clothes. Suppose further you were to take notice of the well-dressed one and say, “Sit right here, in the seat of honor”; and say to the poor one, “You can stand!” or “Sit over there by my footrest.” Haven’t you in such a case discriminated in your hearts? Haven’t you set yourselves up like judges who hand down corrupt decisions? 

Listen, dear siblings: didn’t God choose those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kindom promised to those who love God? Yet you’ve treated poor people shamefully! Aren’t rich people exploiting you? Aren’t they the ones who haul you into the courts, And who blaspheme that noble name by which you’ve been called?

- James 2:1-7, Inclusive Bible, adapted

Shortly before he was released from the hospital, after receiving world-class, cutting-edge care, the president tweeted, “Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of COVID. Don’t let it dominate your life.”

A generous interpretation - although, really, what cause has Donald Trump given us to generously interpret his tweets? - might be that the president thought Americans might find him (and several of his high-ranking aides and allies) contracting COVID to be unsettling, or even fear-inducing. Perhaps he intended his tweet to be reassuring.

Perhaps.

However, for many, the president’s tweet, boasting that he feels better than he has in decades, served primarily to underscore the stark realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve known for some time that factors like classism, racism, queer-phobia, and fat-phobia have measurable effects on health outcomes for people in marginalized communities, and the pandemic is no exception to that. The communities that this president has targeted with oppressive policies since the day he stepped into the Oval Office are the same communities made most vulnerable to the pandemic that he has downplayed, lied about, and mismanaged for months on end. 

A homeless trans woman who has been living in unsafe conditions in a city-provided motel room during the pandemic won’t be treated in a six-room hospital suite with a crystal chandelier if she tests positive for COVID. An undocumented immigrant who works for cash and doesn’t have health insurance won’t be given experimental treatments if they go to the hospital for COVID. One of the 8 million Black Americans who live below the poverty line won’t be going home to a house with a fully equipped medical unit if they’re discharged after treatment for COVID. But President Trump, who has actively pursued policies that directly harm these communities, benefits from all of that and more and has the audacity to tell us not to be afraid because he is “feeling really good!”

The federal government hasn’t been taking action to care for the most vulnerable among us, and it looks like they don’t intend to do so anytime soon. Communities around the country are setting up funds to offer financial support to those who are hardest hit by the pandemic. Check out this list and consider making a donation today.

Source of Justice,

You teach us what is good, 

and yet in so many ways we rebel against your ways.

Move us to seek true justice:

Justice that disrupts violence,

Justice that upends oppression,

Justice that inspires love.

Guide our feet as we march toward becoming your beloved community,

In Jesus’ name we pray,

Amen.

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