It’s an image of vitality and stamina Trump has promoted throughout his real estate career, his reality show and his presidency, suddenly upended by his Covid-19 diagnosis in the final month of the 2020 race. Now, in the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic and searing recession, Trump is closing out his campaign with this attitude of fighting, dominance and aggression rather than empathy and compassion many undecided voters may want in a moment of national uncertainty.

“He sees his ability to make calls late at night, function on little sleep and work no matter where he is as part of his appeal,” said one White House official. Covid “threatened to change that projected image.”…

Now, Trump’s post-Covid macho man routine could become a political liability as cases rise this fall across the nation.

“When he said, ‘Don’t let the virus dominate your life,’ I heard a million epidemiologists cry out in terror,” said Jeremy Faust, an emergency physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. “The fact that when Trump recovered, it was all about him beating the virus and not about, ‘I went through this ordeal and here is what we can do to stay safe’ — that is a terrible disservice. As a president, you have the opportunity to educate people every day.”