Stanley Chera, a Manhattan real estate developer and friend of President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 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.