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Parscale says Trump should have been more empathetic on coronavirus

Parscale says Trump should have been more empathetic on coronavirus
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Former Trump campaign manager Brad ParscaleBrad ParscaleAides tried to get Trump to stop attacking McCain in hopes of clinching Arizona: report MORE says that President TrumpDonald TrumpEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Ex-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' MORE’s biggest policy error ahead of his 2020 election loss was showing a lack of public empathy about the novel coronavirus. 

“People were scared,” Parscale said in an interview with Fox News host Martha MacCallum that aired Tuesday evening. “I think if he would have been publicly empathetic, he would have won by a landslide then. He could have leaned into it instead of run away from it.”

Parscale, who was pushed out of the role of campaign manager over the summer, said Trump’s decision to push for reopening the country instead of displaying empathy about COVID-19 hurt him with suburban voters in swing states like Georgia and Pennsylvania that Trump ultimately lost to Joe BidenJoe BidenEx-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' News leaders deal with the post-Trump era MORE, who is now president-elect.

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Parscale described the move as the biggest “policy error” of the campaign, differentiating it from what he called "technical errors."

Trump, who was sickened with the coronavirus in October, eschewed public health guidelines for months to hold large campaign rallies and other White House events while downplaying the threat from COVID-19. The virus has infected more than 13.6 million Americans and killed more than 270,000.

After Trump spent three days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center recovering from the virus in October, he urged Americans not to be afraid of COVID-19 or allow it to “dominate” their lives.

Biden spent much of his campaign focusing on Trump’s handling of the virus and contrasting his own planned approach to controlling its spread. 

The interview represented Parscale’s first since stepping down from his role on the Trump campaign at the end of September. Parscale was detained by police and brought to the hospital in September after his wife reported that he was armed and threatening self-harm. 

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Parscale served as Trump’s campaign manager until a shakeup in July that saw him demoted and replaced with Bill StepienBill StepienTrump adds veteran organizer to help run political operations: report Trump likely to form new super PAC Trump ready to make McConnell's life miserable MORE. Parscale was serving in a limited role as a campaign senior adviser until the incident in September. 

Parscale said during the Fox interview that he and his wife are in a “better place” and attributed the incident to emotional stress over the past five years.

Parscale refused to characterize Trump as the loser of the election during the interview, instead expressing hope that his efforts to challenge the results could play out in his favor.

Trump’s legal team has produced no evidence to bolster his claims of widespread election fraud and his own attorney general said Tuesday that there has been no evidence of voter fraud that would change the result of the presidential race. Key states where Trump challenged the results like Arizona and Wisconsin have certified their results showing Biden’s victory.

Parscale said he had not spoken to Trump recently but urged him to “keep fighting.”