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Trump Mulled Pranking the Public Outside Walter Reed

The president's idea involved a Superman T-shirt
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2020 12:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump recently considered pulling a stunt that some have likened to a scene from Willa Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The New York Times reports that Trump called people from his bed at Walter Reed Medical Center with an idea: leave the hospital looking frail, then rip off his shirt and reveal a Superman T-shirt underneath. But his plan to show off "a bit of epic flare" never came to fruition, Slate notes. Trump left the hospital Monday and later posted a video that perhaps reflected his self-identification with the DC comics hero: "Don't be afraid of it," Trump said of the coronavirus, per Business Insider. "You're going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment, we have the best medicines."

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Media outlets like the Washington Post have noted Trump's devotion to positive thinking—and its famous adherent, Norman Vincent Peale—but the Guardian notes that Trump's care at Walter Reed may have cost more than $1 million. He also received an experimental antibody cocktail from Regeneron that remains unavailable to the public. "The type of care the president received—there are very, very, very few people in the country, if not the world, who will receive that level of care," said Bruce Y. Lee, a professor at the City University of New York School of Public Health. "You can't expect to receive the same types of treatments." (Read more President Trump stories.)

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