At a news conference Monday afternoon, the president’s physician declined to comment on Trump telling Americans not to be afraid. “I’m not going to get into what the president says,” Dr. Sean Conley said.
Trump has for months has played down the threat of the pandemic, mocked mask-wearing, flouted public health guidelines and expressed little empathy for the nearly 210,000 Americans who have died.
Criticized for mishandling his response, he and his campaign now are casting him as someone strong and uniquely qualified to lead the fight.
“I learned a lot about COVID,” Trump said in a video he tweeted Sunday afternoon. “I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. This isn’t the, ‘Let’s-read-the-book school.’ And I get it. And I understand it. And it’s a very interesting thing, and I’m going to be letting you know about it.”
“I feel better than I did 20 years ago!” he tweeted Monday afternoon.
A spokeswoman for his campaign on Monday criticized the Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, for having not contracted the virus himself.
“He has experience now fighting the coronavirus as an individual,” Erin Perrine, director of press communications for Trump’s campaign, said in an interview with Fox News Monday morning. “Those first-hand experiences Joe Biden, he doesn’t have those.”
In stark contrast with Trump, Biden has for months practiced strict coronavirus protocols, severely limiting the sizes of his events and frequently wearing a face covering. He has repeatedly said he would trust public health officials — unlike Trump, who has disagreed with them in public, politicized mask-wearing and made false and misleading claims about treatments and vaccines.
Biden’s campaign has followed strict social distancing in order to keep the candidate safe and project an image of responsibility in contrast, they say,