The group includes a Democrat MP from Michigan who has been grateful to Trump for his public recommendations for the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which medical experts warn has not been proven definitively to treat coronavirus; owner of a California radio station who was a passenger on the ill-fated cruise ship Princess Diamond; a millennial who has a disease; an NFL veteran and an Arkansas couple who were infected while skiing.
“It is an honor to be here, and an honor to be here among you survivors. I can’t say how beautiful it is to see your face. Thank you for everything you have done, “Karen Whitsett, a representative of the state of Michigan, told the president, complaining that he had suffered a political backlash because of his praise of Trump. “I didn’t know that saying thank you had a political line. I do not know it. I think just saying thank you means thank you. ”
Whitsett praised the president for encouraging hydroxychloroquine, told by her husband, Jason, he went to a drugstore late at night to get it when his wife continued to get sicker.
“Your husband sounds like a wonderful man,” Trump told the couple, whose stories have been shared on Trump’s favorite channel, Fox News. “He goes there and he takes care of everything, right? He takes care of him. That means he loves you. Some husbands will say, ‘Uh, don’t bother.’ He will do what he has to do, right? “
The president returned to Whitsetts repeatedly, at one point in a dispute with Karen Whitsett about Lyme disease and announced that he would ask the White House doctor to examine him.
“Is it legal for me to allow him to use the White House doctor?” he asked, answering his own question: “You know, if not, I will suffer the consequences. I do not care. Democrats might not like it. ”
Trump was shocked when Whitsett told him that he was infected since childhood at home, not in the forest.
“Well it’s like when I hit the ball to rough golf. You know what I’m saying? ‘Enjoy yourself, I’m not going there,'” Trump quipped. “Lyme disease is very difficult. It’s a bad disease. I want you to see our doctor before you go, okay?”
Noting that he was a Democrat, Trump stated that he would “cross party lines” to work with him, asking if he had higher political ambitions while strongly hinting he was getting his vote for his re-election in November.
“I won’t speak for him, but I don’t see him choosing Sleepy Joe Biden,” he said, encouraging laughter around the room. “I won’t ask him that question. But if he chooses Sleepy Joe, I’ll be surprised. “
Trump seemed fascinated to hear about each person’s symptoms, asked some participants if they thought they would die, and responded by not believing in the patient’s description of body aches and shortness of breath.
Rachel Mangan, half of the Arkansas couple observed by Trump seemed “laden” with money, told the president that she had symptoms for about a month and only tested negative for Covid-19 for the first time about five days ago and only felt 85 percent recovered .
“Please, stay away from me. Keep him,” Trump quipped.
Trump spent the first few minutes of his conversation with former NFL player Mark Campbell talking about Campbell’s campus teammate and Trump’s friend, Tom Brady, before expressing his admiration that Campbell had been stricken with the disease.
“Tell us: You are a big and strong man,” Trump said. “And this little insect is destroying you, right?”
Campbell described his hospitalization to the president, noting that he had also asked his medical provider and received hydroxychloroquine.
Later, Trump used Campbell to comment on the broad range of viruses.
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