Stanley Chera, a Manhattan real estate developer and friend of President TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president's policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'unwise' Cast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response MORE, died Saturday from coronavirus. He was 78.

Chera's death was first reported in real estate journal The Real Deal. A White House official confirmed Chera's friendship with the president in a statement to The Associated Press.

Chera was thought to be the friend of the president mentioned by Trump during multiple White House briefings as having contracted the coronavirus. Trump first mentioned his friend had been hospitalized in late March, though he did not identify Chera by name.


“I had a friend who went to a hospital the other day. He’s a little older, and he’s heavy, but he’s tough person,” Trump said on March 29. “And he went to the hospital, and a day later, he’s in a coma.

"He's not doing well," Trump added at the time. "This is not the flu."

New York is the epicenter of coronavirus infections in the U.S., with more than 180,000 cases confirmed in the state and 8,600 deaths.