Mark Meadows compares Trump telling Americans 'don't be afraid' of COVID-19 to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
Heaping praise on his former boss, Meadows compared one of Trump's speeches to the Gettysburg Address.
"One thing that's for certain: Don't let it dominate you," Trump said of the coronavirus.
Trump's post-COVID diagnosis speech had "the same compressed, forceful quality" as Lincoln's best-known address, Meadows wrote.
In his new memoir, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows compared former President Donald Trump's post-COVID hospitalization speech to the Gettysburg Address.
Meadows, whose book "The Chief's Chief" was released on Tuesday, attempted to illustrate how Trump's brief speech urging Americans not to fear the coronavirus reminded him of former President Abraham Lincoln's magnum opus.
"Although the prose wasn't quite as polished as the Gettysburg Address, delivered by President Abraham Lincoln after the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, it had the same compressed, forceful quality that had made President Lincoln's words so effective at the time they were delivered," Meadows wrote.
In his October 2020 speech from the White House following his hospitalization at Walter Reed Medical Center, Trump downplayed the danger posed by the deadly virus, which had killed more than 210,000 people in the US at that point.
"One thing that's for certain: Don't let it dominate you," Trump said of the coronavirus. "Don't be afraid of it. You're going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment; we have the best medicines, all developed recently. You're going to beat it."
Meadows praised Trump's "unpolished honesty" and says he feared a future without Trump's leadership.
"This was the kind of direct, unpolished honesty that the country had been missing from President Trump, while he was sick," he wrote. "I dreaded to think of the results if we had to go without it after 2020."
Trump, who received experimental COVID-9 treatments and world-class medical care, said he felt "better than I have in a long time" after surviving his bout with the virus. But Meadows wrote that Trump was much sicker with the coronavirus than the White House let on. The former top aide revealed new details of Trump's illness, including that his blood oxygen level fell to 86% and that he lost significant strength.
"I could tell that every movement was difficult for him," Meadows said of Trump while he was hospitalized. "Every few minutes, he would need to sit back down and rest."
Trump was widely condemned by public health experts for minimizing the risks of COVID-19 and undermining recommendations, including mask mandates, designed to mitigate the virus' spread.
Meadows — who reportedly wanted to skip the 2016 Republican National Convention to avoid being associated with Trump, according to Tim Alberta's book "American Carnage" — heaped praise on Trump throughout the book. He also revealed that the former president first tested positive on September 26, three days before his first in-person debate with Joe Biden, revising the timeline of Trump's COVID diagnosis and subsequent hospitalization.