U.S. President Donald Trump wears a protective mask while boarding Marine One in front of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, United States on Monday, October 5, 2020.
Chris Kleponis | Polaris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
SINGAPORE – US President Donald Trump believes people want him to appear strong despite testing positive for the coronavirus, but that shows "no responsibility," a senior lecturer told CNBC.
"I think for (Trump) he thinks he has to project invincibility. He thinks that is the most important thing people want to see," said David Smith of the United States Studies Center at the University of Sydney.
"But he is the President of the United States. What people want to see is responsibility, and he shows no responsibility," he told Street Signs Asia on Tuesday.
The president was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday after spending three days in the hospital being treated for Covid-19. Medical experts previously warned that given his age and the "secret" nature of the virus, he should stay in the hospital, but Trump said on Twitter that he is "feeling very good".
What you saw him today is something that goes against all health logic … But it all plays into the person who loves and continues to support his base.
President and CEO of the Atlantic Council
His doctors said Monday that his condition had "continued to improve" in the past 24 hours and that he was still receiving treatment at the White House.
Trump has also been criticized for taking a drive outside Walter Reed on Sunday, waving to his supporters gathered outside the hospital. Doctors said he exposed his intelligence agents to "absolutely unnecessary risk" by getting into the vehicle "actively contagious".
According to the Johns Hopkins University, more than 35.4 million people have been infected with Covid-19 and at least 1 million people have died.
Smith said the president seemed to be "taking more and more steps" that put those around him at risk.
"If the United States appears to be on the verge of a third wave of the pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 people, I don't think that irresponsibility will be rewarded," he said.
However, Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council, who is contributing to CNBC, said Trump played in front of his grassroots and knows the only way to win is by "cementing" that support ahead of the November election.
"What you saw today goes against all health logic," he told CNBC's Capital Connection on Tuesday. "But it plays completely into the person who loves his base and continues to support it."