President Donald Trump has now blamed police officers, soldiers and Gold Star families for infecting him and aide Hope Hicks with COVID-19.
“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 Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Thursday. “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.”
“They want to hug me, and they want to kiss me. And they do,” he added. “And, frankly, I’m not telling them to back up. I’m not doing it.”
Trump hypothesizing that Gold Star families gave him COVID pic.twitter.com/yQzqZWCN6X
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) October 8, 2020
Trump and first lady Melania Trump attended a fundraiser with Gold Star families on Sunday. Notably, Trump does not allow for the possibility that he could have been the one infecting the families, which could have happened if he caught the virus from RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Friday or at the Rose Garden Supreme Court announcement-turned-super spreader event on Saturday.
Trump again turned to the military as likely vectors of the disease last week, in the hours after Hicks’ positive diagnosis broke.
“But it’s very, very hard when you are with people from the military or law enforcement, and they come over to you, and they want to hug you. And they want to kiss you, because we really have done a good job for them,” Trump said. “And you get close, and things happen.”
It’s still unclear exactly when Trump was infected, and the timeline is hard to nail down due to the White House’s refusal to clarify when Trump first exhibited symptoms and when he last tested negative. Hicks reportedly fell ill Wednesday night, but, per the White House’s timeline, Trump was not tested until Thursday evening. That time lapse seems even more egregious given that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said he knew about her positive test Thursday afternoon, as Trump and his entourage were headed to a fundraiser in Bedminster, New Jersey.