Alaskans react to president testing positive for coronavirus

President Donald Trump waves to members of the media as he leaves the White House to go to...
President Donald Trump waves to members of the media as he leaves the White House to go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after he tested positive for COVID-19, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, in Washington.(APAP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Published: Oct. 2, 2020 at 10:50 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - As President Donald Trump was hospitalized Friday “out of an abundance of caution,” according to NBC News, Alaskans were reacting to the news of his positive coronavirus test.

Alaska’s delegation sent well wishes Friday, primarily via social media. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office responded to a request for comment through a tweet sent Friday morning, with the senator writing, “@POTUS and @FLOTUS are in my prayers, along with all those who have been impacted by this #COVID19 virus.”

Sen. Dan Sullivan’s office also pointed to a tweet he posted Friday. Sullivan wrote, “@realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS: Wishing the two of you a speedy recovery. Julie (Sullivan) and I will continue our prayers for you and @VP Pence as our great nation gets through these challenging times, stronger and more resilient than ever.”

A written statement from Rep. Don Young, said to come straight from him via his press office, said he is praying for the Trump family.

“I’m keeping both the President and First Lady in my prayers," Young wrote. "No matter what side of the aisle we find ourselves on, as Americans, we must come together and wish them a speedy recovery.”

The president is being closely monitored after testing positive for the virus Thursday. First lady Melania Trump also tested positive and was last known to be in isolation inside the White House with mild symptoms, NBC News reported Friday.

Just 32 days before the election, Alaskans outside the state’s delegation also reacted to the Trumps testing positive for the virus, with largely mixed emotions.

“It stirs up a lot of emotion,” said Nate Stenson. "It throws the country into a further turmoil than it’s already in.

“My impression is, treat his diagnosis similar to how he treated the diagnosis of others in this nation,” he added, “which is really without much care, thought or passion for the people involved.”

Karen Strebel, another Alaskan, said she hopes the president gets better soon.

“It’s really serious, what’s happening around, and we need to be careful and have that distance,” she said. “Hopefully he will get better, because nobody wants anybody to die, you know.”

Other Alaskans said they weren’t at all surprised that the president - and now, many of his staffers - tested positive.

“He’s had other people around him test positive and not wear masks or employ social distancing,” said Brian Fontaine, “so in that regard, I don’t know how surprising it is, but it’s unfortunate.”

While many responded to the news of Trump’s diagnosis with well wishes, others were on the fence.

“I saw a whole bunch of people post really mean things, like, ’Good, he deserves it,'” said Erin Mitchell, "and I was like, ‘That’s sad, because he in the end, he is a human being.’

“But,” she said, “he’s also kind of asked for that reaction.”

NBC News also reported that Trump’s campaign manager tested positive and is experiencing mild, flu-like symptoms. The Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee announced Friday she’d tested positive as well, as did former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, after attending a Rose Garden event last week where the president announced his Supreme Court pick.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife tested negative for the coronavirus, his primary care doctor confirmed to the Associated Press Friday. The democratic presidential nominee and his wife were tested earlier in the day after news of the president’s infection was announced.

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