Stanley Chera, a Manhattan real estate developer and friend of President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 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.