A doctor who was vilified by Donald Trump after contracting Ebola while treating patients in West Africa in 2014 responded to the president for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, calling Trump’s lack of empathy “the greatest threat to. the American people “.
Craig Spencer, who was the first case of Ebola in New York after returning home from Guinea six years ago, was accused of being “very selfish”
The New York-Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Center doctor, who has treated hundreds of coronavirus patients, spoke Monday night after Trump left the hospital, where he was being treated for Covid-19, and despite being contagious. with the deadly virus, he removed his photo mask outside the White House.
Trump then released a video in which he told Americans, “Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it.”
Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at Columbia-Presbyterian, tweeted: “I followed all public health guidelines and did not infect anyone. In the past few days, you have unnecessarily exposed numerous people, your administration refuses to trace contacts, and there is an epidemic in the White House because of your dangerous disregard for public health.
“‘Don’t let it rule your life,’ you said! 210,000 Americans died. We held their hands and called their families via grainy video links so they could see their dying breaths. Your lack of empathy is the greatest threat to the American people. You have let us down. “
Across the United States, teachers and healthcare professionals are “putting themselves at risk” because Trump has treated the virus as “a political threat, not a public health crisis,” Spencer said.
The 39-year-old accompanied his comments with a 2014 tweet from the president that said, “The Ebola doctor who just flew to New York from West Africa and went on the subway, bowling and lunch is a very selfish man, he would have should have known! “
At the time, Trump also spoke on television, telling Fox & Friends, “I consider that doctor extremely selfish.”
The White House has reportedly become a “ghost town” amid complaints about the contact tracing of the president and infected aides.
Spencer, a prominent critic of the president since the start of the pandemic, told the Washington Post: “If the president can’t keep the White House safe, how can he protect the country?
“I think someone said to me, ‘Oh, this must seem really strange to reflect on this and what he said in 2014.’ But that’s not the strange part. What seems strange to me is fighting the president to end the deadliest pandemic of the last century. “
He said Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis had “for some reason … made him more of an authoritative voice on Covid, unlike doctors who treat patients who have died and who have to tell their families about video connections. you shell out that their loved ones are dead. It’s just not equivalent. “
Spencer went to Guinea for five weeks in 2014, as a volunteer for Doctors Without Borders and to help treat Ebola patients. After returning to New York in October, he said he felt depression and exhaustion but had no symptoms and returned to his normal life, including riding the subway and playing bowling, following Doctors Without Borders guidelines.
On October 23, 2014, he measured a fever of 100.3F, reported it to Doctors Without Borders and the New York City Health Department, and was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center. Immediately after, he tested positive for Ebola.
He became weak, lost 20 pounds, and his liver was failing. In the meantime, it has come under public criticism, including from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has suggested he was being reckless.
But less than three weeks after his diagnosis, Spencer was discharged from the hospital after being declared free from Ebola. He said he was a “living example” of how the protocols established to manage the disease had worked.