The initial response to the announcement that President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19 was civil and heartfelt. But it didn't take long for the haters to start hating.

President Trump has a lot of enemies. It does not surprise me to see some of those enemies rejoice at the thought that Trump and his wife have contracted the coronavirus that has so far killed more than a million people worldwide and about 208,000 in the United States alone. That they would do so is unfortunate, but not surprising.

Some of the immediate reaction to the news was civil. Actress and activist Alyssa Milano, a huge Trump critic, tweeted, "As someone who has had #COVID19 and still suffers from post-covid syndrome, I can honestly say with all that I am that I wouldn’t wish this virus on my worst enemy."

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow also tweeted out kind words for the Trumps: "God bless the president and the first lady. If you pray, please pray for their speedy and complete recovery — and for everyone infected, everywhere. This virus is horrific and merciless — no one would wish its wrath on anyone. We must get its spread under control. Enough."

Reading the angry and mean-spirited tweets from some of the other alleged celebrities, most of whom I've never heard of, left me feeling sad and heartsick – for them.

Milano and Maddow, worthy Trump opponents, displayed class and compassion for the president and his wife not to mention respect for the office of the presidency. Now that's the American way.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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