As speculation continued to mount around the condition of United States President Donald Trump, one moment from an interview he gave to right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh on October 9 2020 drew attention online.
Trump phoned into Limbaugh’s show as part of what the latter called a “virtual rally” for the president and at one point threatened Iran — one of several grudges the president aired out at length during the two-hour call.
“And Iran knows this, and they’ve been put on notice: If you fuck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are gonna do things to you that have never been done before,” Trump said.
Journalist Aaron Rupar captured the audio and posted it on Twitter:
“If you fuck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are gonna do things to you that have never been done before.” — the President of the United States pic.twitter.com/RfDKchaw7i
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 9, 2020
Transcripts of the interview were not available on Limbaugh’s website as of press time. But according to the Guardian:
Trump spent most of the interview rallying against his enemies, real and perceived, including his favorite targets: the press, Democrats, the Russia investigators. But he also lashed out at Fox News, former DNC chair Donna Brazile, the Pulitzer Commission and LeBron James. One person who escaped his wrath was German chancellor Angela Merkel, who he called “smart” and “cunning”.
Informed of an Axios report that that the DOJ investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation would not be released before the November election, Trump expressed shock and frustration.
“It’s a disgrace,” he said. “If Bill Barr made that statement, I would be very disappointed in him.”
The interview aired a day after Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, told reporters that the president had completed treatment for COVID-19 and could resume campaigning.
“Based on the trajectory of advanced diagnostics the team has been conducting, I fully anticipate the president’s safe return to public engagements at that time,” Conley said. But that same day, NPR reported that Trump said in a separate interview with Fox Business Network that his treatment would continue for a “little bit longer.”
Confusing the issue further, Trump claimed to be at full capacity and touted the various drugs he has received during his treatment on Limbaugh’s show, including the anti-inflammatory corticosteroid dexamethasone.
“I was not in the greatest of shape,” he said at one point. “A day later, I was fine, maybe perfect, but I was fine. But a couple of days later, and now I’m free, you know, I feel perfect.”
According to NPR:
The Infectious Diseases Society of America now recommends giving 6 milligrams of the drug for 10 days to critically ill COVID-19 patients on ventilators and those requiring oxygen support. But it recommends not using the drug on people with mild illness who do not require supplemental oxygen.
While this commonly used drug is generally safe, there are a range of known side effects. “By far, the most common is hyperglycemia, so that’s where your blood sugars will shoot up,” Gounder said.
Also quite common, especially among older patients are a range of psychiatric side effects, she added.
“Anything from feeling like you’re on top of the world … your arthritic aches and pains of age just melt away, you have lots of energy,” she said. “There may be some grandiosity.”
Shortly after Trump’s interview with Limbaugh, ABC News reported that the president planned to host an event concerning “law and order” at the White House’s South Lawn on October 10, the site of an event two weeks earlier for Supreme Court nominee Amy Comey Barrett that became known as the prelude to a spate of COVID-19 infections affecting more than thirty (and counting) White House staff members and Republican Party lawmakers. The White House has refused to employ contact tracing to gauge how far the virus spread as a result of the gathering.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the Trump administration’s task force investigating the virus, criticized the lack of safety protocols around the September 26 event in a radio interview with CBS News:
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) October 9, 2020
“I think the data speak for themselves. We had a superspreader event in the White House, and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks,” Fauci said.