Rose Garden Fiasco

White House leads poor example of COVID-19 regulations

Perris Larson, Staff Writer

Illustration by Micky Flores-Nieves

For months, states have mandated that people wear a mask in public, from making a run to the grocery store to the daily commutes to work to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Citizens are expected to abide by the mandates and guidelines, but apparently, the White House is not. 

On September 26, President Trump held a very large and mostly unmasked gathering of 150 people in the White House Rose Garden to announce his nominee to the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett.

Since then, there have been 36 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the White House, including President Trump and the First Lady; and most recently, their son Barron Trump tested positive.

 Those who have seen this incident as a serious issue have deemed it the Rose Garden Massacre.

“Large gatherings are still banned in the US capital due to COVID-19, but federal property like the White House is exempt,” said the BBC, explaining how this event could have happened in the first place.

The virus spreading the way it did is no surprise to anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the last seven months. Public health guidelines are there for a reason, and the White House just proved why. 

Nowadays, people can’t walk into a building without a mask, and if someone doesn’t cooperate with the rules, they’ll be asked to leave, but the President organizes gatherings of more than 100 people without masks and no one bats an eye.

The leaders of our country should be held to the same standards average citizens are.

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Anthony Fauci even called the Rose Garden Massacre, “A super-spreader event.”

Even at the first Presidential debate, President Trump had the audacity to pull a mask out of his suit pocket, stating, “I put the mask on when I think I need it.”

Wearing masks are not for when we feel like it, we wear them out of care for our communities. Younger people aren’t as susceptible to the virus, but that doesn’t mean they’re excused from wearing masks. 

It’s clear that no one likes wearing masks, but it’s about adapting for the health of others.

Trump’s ego must have massively inflated if he thinks everyday working Americans need to follow safety measures, but he does not.

But just look at the numbers. Around eight million Americans have been infected with COVID-19, and over 200,000 people have died from it. No one wants any more people to get sick.

Seattle Pacific University, along with other college campuses, has put in regulations to keep all students safe. We wear masks in classrooms and lounges, and even in residential hallways. Yes, we’ve had positive cases of COVID-19 on campus, but we probably would’ve had a lot more cases if we didn’t have the guidelines and regulations.

Because of Trump’s disregard for the health guidelines given by scientists across the world, a Rose Garden Massacre was bound to happen. 

A President is supposed to have the country’s best interest in mind and is supposed to be a role model. But when it comes to health guidelines, our current President is no role model. To bring this pandemic to an end, people need to take the health guidelines seriously, and that goes for Trump too.

However, we don’t have to wait for Trump to catch up. We can continue to care for people and wear a mask until someone with accurate scientific knowledge tells us that we do not have to.

Trump isn’t a doctor, he’s not a scientist, and scientists have said that the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to wear a mask and social distance.

We’ve been doing both of those for months now, so let’s finish what we have started, with or without our President. And as ballots get filled, let us look for a leader who can bring us out of this pandemic.