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The lights are on in the White House as U.S. President Donald Trump continues to be hospitalized at the Walter Reed Hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Image Credit: Reuters

The Donald Trump coronavirus episode, and with the worldwide cases rapidly approaching the 36 million mark, it is imperative to not underestimate the consolidating threat of the pandemic.

The US president’s case is a clear and serious example of misjudgement on the part of the White House, which had been underplaying the COVID-19 threat. Even as it was announced that President Trump, and the First Lady, have tested positive, the White House continued to give often confusing and vague information on the condition of the president. Considering the leadership role the country enjoys globally, correct information is key not only for the US but for the entire world.

We all, of course, wish the US president and Mrs. Trump a speedy recovery. But his case offers a real-time lesson to take the threat seriously

- Gulf News

It has been awfully difficult to get the real picture out of the Walter Reed Hospital, where Trump is admitted. There is little transparency. With less than a month to go to election day, it might not be politically prudent to project a weak candidate, that is understandable. But in case of President Trump, it is important to be transparent because the world deserves to know the real picture. It is critical to know that there is no leadership void in a world that is currently witnessing several military conflicts.

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We all, of course, wish the US president and Mrs. Trump a speedy recovery. But his case offers a real-time lesson to take the threat seriously. For months he downplayed the pandemic. From day one, he said it was under control. He admitted later that he intentionally downplayed the coronavirus to ensure there was no panic. Trump’s handling of the pandemic may be a key reason that cases in the US today are nearing the 8 million mark.

Crossing 36 million milestone

In the next couple of days, the global infection cases will cross the 36 million milestone as Europe, the US and India see a dramatic surge in new cases. The UAE numbers have also been on the rise despite all efforts to get people to comply with the required coronavirus measures, such as mask wearing and social distancing. The number of fines imposed by the relevant authorities have increases too.

It is essential to understand that countries will no longer afford similar measures that were imposed in March and April. The global economy would not survive another lockdown. Thus, people around the world will have to live with the virus. There is no alternative but to ensure that we take the necessary measures to protect ourselves and those around us. All medical experts agree that wearing masks and practicing social distancing is the best available means to stop the deadly virus.