On Monday, Vanity Fair ran an article alleging that President Donald Trump is extremely fearful that he will contract the coronavirus from journalists, and since then, Trump has strongly denied the claim by firing back on Twitter.
According to the magazine piece in question, “As Trump pushes a nothing-to-see-here message in public, sources said he’s privately terrified about getting the virus.”
“Donald is a famous germaphobe,” Vanity Fair quoted a “prominent Republican” as saying. “He hates it if someone is eating nachos and dips a chip back in after taking a bite. He calls them ‘double-dippers.'”
Comments from former Trump adviser Sam Nunberg were included in the piece as well. Nunberg claimed that during the 2014 Ebola epidemic, Trump was “obsessed” with the deadly illness.
Meanwhile, an individual who is purportedly “close to the administration” said, “Trump told aides he’s afraid journalists will try to purposefully contract coronavirus to give it to him on Air Force One.”
That individual went on to assert that the president “is definitely melting down over this” and accused Trump of even going so far as the ask the Secret Service to bar anyone with a cough from entering the White House.
Trump fires back
The president had little patience for the claims made in the story, and he let the world know online. “Vanity Fair Magazine, which will soon be out of business, and their third rate Fake reporters, who make up sources which don’t exist, wrote yet another phony & boring hit piece,” he tweeted in response.
“The facts are just the opposite,” the president went on, adding that his administration “is doing a great job with CoronaVirus!”
On Friday afternoon, Trump held a press conference on the White House lawn where he laid out additional efforts to address the ongoing crisis.
“I am officially declaring a national emergency — two very big words,” he told reporters assembled in the Rose Garden at the White House. Elements of the administration’s reponse include a measure to waive interest on federal student loans and a directive designed to support the energy industry by purchasing crude oil to add to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Also part of the emergency declaration was an announcement of a plan to establish drive-thru testing centers for people who believe they have been exposed to the coronavirus.
“The goal is for individuals to be able to drive up and be swabbed without having to leave your car,” Trump explained.