Updated at 11:46 p.m. ET on October 7, 2020.
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To hear the White House tell it, Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis is a case closed. He returned to the grounds yesterday with typical Trumpian fanfare, posing for the cameras from a balcony.
But information about the president's condition—and its severity—remains limited. Our writers explain:
Trump, like Benito Mussolini, knows that images matter. “Those staged pictures are what a lot of people want to see,” Anne Applebaum argues. “Don’t underestimate their power.”
The president’s doctor, Sean Conley, is complicit in this scene-setting. James Hamblin, a staff writer and our resident doctor, writes: “Conley has served as Trump’s publicist in a white coat, reassuring Americans at every turn that Trump is doing well, while leaving out conspicuous details.”
Further reading: Conley comes from a uniquely American brand of medicine. Eleanor Cummins explains what makes osteopathic doctors different.
One question, answered: Is it safe to vote in person?