Diagnosis should send 'a signal' to Trump supporters
The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump group of former and current Republicans, on Friday called for anyone who has recently come into contact with President Trump to get tested for COVID-19, adding that the group hopes the president’s diagnosis “sends a signal” to his supporters.
“The Lincoln Project wishes the President, First Lady, and the many White House, campaign staff, and those exposed to COVID-19 a swift recovery,” the group said in a press release issued Friday.
“We encourage anyone who traveled with the Presidential party, attended a rally, fundraiser or meeting with the President or campaign or staff to get tested immediately and quarantine appropriately.”
The organization then added that it “hopes Trump's infection with COVID sends a signal to the Americans who follow him to take this deadly disease seriously.”
“From the start, the President and his media cheerleaders have amplified dangerously irresponsible messages about the transmissibility, seriousness, and fatality rates of COVID,” the group wrote in a statement.
The Lincoln Project then recorded interviews with the president released by journalist Bob Woodward in which the president admitted to purposely downplaying the threat of the coronavirus pandemic so as not to “create a panic.”
“We hope the President's followers will take heed,” the press release continued. “This disease is not a hoax; it is a killer. Masks, social distancing, and handwashing are vital elements in protecting yourself from COVID.”
“There is no vaccine available at this time. Hydroxychloroquine does not cure or treat COVID in any way,” the group said, referencing the antimalarial drug Trump promoted in March as a possible cure for COVID-19. That there was no definitive evidence to support this claim.
The statement followed news that the president and first lady Melania Trump were experiencing mild symptoms after news broke that the two had contracted the virus. Hope Hicks, one of the president's top aides, tested positive on Thursday.
As of the early afternoon Friday, Vice President Pence, senior advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had all tested negative.
Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien told staff in an email obtained by McClatchy Friday that “any campaign staff member who has had exposure to someone testing positive should immediately begin self-quarantine.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed her successor Mike Pompeo’s pledge to release more of her emails ahead of the election as “pathetic,” insisting that there is nothing of importance in her unreleased communications.
President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden squared off in a combative but restrained debate Thursday night that gave voters their final chance to size the candidates up before heading to the polls Nov. 3. Trump dialed it back in Nashville after his disruptive previous showing in the first debate in Cleveland late last month resulted in handwringing from within his own party. But there were still plenty of clashes, as the candidates got personal with stinging attacks focused on their families, race and immigration.
New York and its fellow cities branded anarchist jurisdictions by the Trump administration will file a lawsuit challenging a move to pull their federal funds. The Justice Department last month slapped the label on New York, Seattle, and Portland, saying they could lose federal funding because the administration believes they have failed to rein in “violence and destruction of property” on their streets. The “anarchist jurisdiction” designation came after President Trump ordered the DOJ to identify cities that, in his view, were not responding aggressively enough to protests and crime.
President Trump on Thursday posted his full interview with "60 Minutes" ahead of its scheduled air time in an apparent attempt to undercut the news program after he walked out on the interview, bristling at questioning from journalist Lesley Stahl. The president posted the nearly 40-minute sit-down to his Facebook page with the caption: "Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS....Tonight’s anchor, Kristen Welker, is far worse!" Trump added, referencing the NBC News anchor who will moderate the presidential debate in Nashville, Tenn.