Local Republicans and Dems wish recovery for Trumps

WHEELING — It was an eventful week for President Donald Trump as he appointed a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, participated in a presidential debate, then had to quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.

Local Republicans and Democrats alike, meanwhile, wished the president and First Lady Melania Trump a healthy recovery Friday after the White House announced the Trumps had contracted the coronavirus.

West Virginia’s Congressional delegation posted well-wishes on social media.

“Praying @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS have a full and speedy recovery,” posted U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore-Capito, R-West Virginia.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, issued a similar statement coupled with a message for the public to take care in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

“(Wife) Gayle and I are praying for a speedy and healthy recovery for President Trump and the First Lady. West Virginians know firsthand how serious COVID-19 can be. Please continue being safe. Wear a mask, social distance when possible and wash your hands,” Manchin posted.

U.S. Rep. David B. McKinley, R-West Virginia, also said, “Mary and I are praying for a speedy recovery for President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.”

All three offices were contacted for additional comment and asked whether Trump’s illness might have an effect on the speed or a delay of the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Neither Manchin’s or McKinley’s office immediately returned a response.

On Friday afternoon, Senate President Mitch McConnell confirmation hearings would begin as scheduled on Oct. 12. Capito’s office released a statement saying she supported this.

Ohio County Republican Party Chairman Elgine McArdle, also an attorney, said it was unlikely Trump’s health would play any role in the confirmation process.

“He has already made the nomination. She is going through the interviews, and the Senate is going to take it and roll with it,” she said. “HIs health doesn’t have anything to do with it.

“As far as I know, his physician has indicated he is healthy enough to perform his duties, although via Zoom.”

McArdle attended a rally for Trump in PIttsburgh last month. She said those all those attending had their temperatures taken before entering. Masks were offered, and those inside were encouraged to wear them.

“If people chose not to wear them, that was their own deal,” McArdle said. “But the people seated behind the president wore masks.”

She expects Trump will use his time while quarantined to his advantage.

“I think it will be a good opportunity for him to prepare for the next debate, take a few deep breaths and get well,” she said. “This was perhaps a humbling experience for him. Anytime someone is faced with mortality it is a humbling experience.

“I think he will survive it. He is too strong an individual not to.”

State Sen. William Ihlenfeld, D-Ohio, said he was saddened to hear of Trump’s illness, and that he hopes he and the first lady recover soon.

“There are others in his circle, and I hope the spread is contained so nobody else comes down with the virus — whether it is his family or his staff,” he said.

Ihlenfeld said he does think people will be more apt to wear masks now as they see even the president isn’t immune to the virus.

“I would rather it would not require someone to get sick, but I think it might be a side-effect — that people realize it could happen to anyone, even the most powerful person in the world,” he said. “I think it will cause people to be more likely to wear a mask. The best thing anyone can do is social distancing, wash their hands, and the things the experts have recommended.”

Delegate Shawn Fluharty, D-Ohio, agreed.

“This is a somber reminder for Americans that this virus continues to ravage our nation and nobody is immune to it,” he said. “We must remain vigilant as a country and work together to combat this virus as we try to return to normalcy.

“I wish the president and first lady a safe and speedy recovery.”

Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott said the first family’s COVID-19 diagnosis “is a painful reminder that this virus can reach anybody, regardless of position or privilege.”

“I wish them both a speedy recovery. And I hope that we can find the strength as a nation to depoliticize a global pandemic that has no political affiliation or preference,” he said. “We are all in this together and need to listen to science and health experts as we navigate the path forward.”

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