"For months the president mocked mask wearing, defied health experts and played fast and loose during a real and deadly pandemic," said East Bay Congressman Mark DeSaulnier.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- After initially downplaying the coronavirus, and even going as far as making fun of his presidential opponent's mask-wearing habits earlier this week, news of President Donald Trump's positive COVID-19 test didn't come as a surprise to some members of the Bay Area's congressional delegation.
"He has not taken normal precautions that have been recommended," said Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, whose seat covers much of Silicon Valley. "We have a lot of political disagreements in this country right now, but I hope that we can all agree that we don't want any of our fellow Americans to get sick and die."
The president will be hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center over the weekend, according to the White House. First Lady Melania Trump also tested positive for the virus.
"For months the president mocked mask wearing, defied health experts and played fast and loose during a real and deadly pandemic," said East Bay Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, who wished the president and the first lady well, but also called on the Trump Administration to be transparent with the American people about his condition.
North Bay Congressman Mike Thompson said, "Their diagnosis is an important reminder that this virus can infect any one of us and that we have to keep taking every safety precautions."
The White House said President Trump has already received a dose of Regeneron's experimental antibody cocktail, which is also being used in clinical trials at Stanford. Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a professor and infectious disease expert within the School of Medicine, called the president's diagnosis the result of a failure on the part of the federal government to protect him.
"The guidance is very clear. Wear a mask. Stay six feet apart. It's not rocket science and clearly that did not happen," said Maldonado.
House Democrats called on the Senate to pass a revised stimulus bill to help those who have been economically devastated during the pandemic.
"We have so many lives on the line, so many Americans who are now unemployed, struggling to put food on the table and to keep shelters over their heads," said Peninsula Congresswoman Jackie Speier. "We have to provide this relief."
Although the president's campaign is being scaled back, political strategists say it's too early to tell how much of an effect this will have on the election.
"People's impressions of whether they're going to vote for Trump or Biden, I think those views are relatively well set," said Dr. Lanhee Chen, a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. "We want to make sure that the government that's in power currently has the ability to govern as effectively as possible, and that means the quick recovery of the president and first lady."
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