President Donald Trump, who made headlines after testing positive for the novel coronavirus last week after months of downplaying a pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 210,000 Americans to date, claimed during an interview with Fox Business that Gold Star families could have infected him with the virus.
“Sometimes, I’d be in groups of, for instance, Gold Star families. I met with Gold Star families. I didn’t want to cancel that,” he told host Maria Bartiromo. “But they all came in, and they all talk about their son and daughter and father. And, you know, they all came up to me, and they tell me a story.”
Trump later added that Gold Star family members “come within an inch of my face, sometimes” and that “They want to hug me, and they want to kiss me. And they do. And, frankly, I’m not telling them to back up. I’m not doing it.”
Trump’s comments appeared to reference an event on September 27 celebrating Gold Star families hosted at the White House.
You can watch the interview below.
"I met with Gold Star families. I didn't want to cancel that … I can't say, 'back up' … they wanna hug me and they wanna kiss me, and they do" — Trump on now suggesting Gold Start families gave him coronavirus pic.twitter.com/7F2dBzRFgi
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 8, 2020
The current outbreak within the White House has been traced back to a September 26 event announcing the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. Several top officials have tested positive for the virus, and Trump was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after his oxygen levels dropped.
The President faced significant criticism over the weekend for leaving his hospital bed to greet supporters, exposing members of his staff. Many American voters are not sympathetic to Trump, arguing that he would not have tested positive for the coronavirus if he had worn a mask, social distanced and followed the recommendations from public health experts.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.