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Lincoln Project: Trump coronavirus diagnosis should send 'a signal' to supporters

The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump group of former and current Republicans, on Friday called for anyone who has recently come into contact with President TrumpDonald John TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump MORE to get tested for COVID-19, adding that the group hopes the president’s diagnosis “sends a signal” to his supporters. 

“The Lincoln Project wishes the President, First Lady, and the many White House, campaign staff, and those exposed to COVID-19 a swift recovery,” the group said in a press release issued Friday. “We encourage anyone who traveled with the Presidential party, attended a rally, fundraiser or meeting with the President or campaign or staff to get tested immediately and quarantine appropriately.” 

The organization then added that it “hopes Trump's infection with COVID sends a signal to the Americans who follow him to take this deadly disease seriously.” 

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“From the start, the President and his media cheerleaders have amplified dangerously irresponsible messages about the transmissibility, seriousness, and fatality rates of COVID,” the group wrote in a statement. 

The Lincoln Project then recounted interviews with the president released by journalist Bob Woodward in which the president admitted to purposely downplaying the threat of the coronavirus pandemic so as not to “create a panic.” 

“We hope the President's followers will take heed,” the press release continued. “This disease is not a hoax; it is a killer. Masks, social distancing, and handwashing are vital elements in protecting yourself from COVID.”

“There is no vaccine available at this time. Hydroxychloroquine does not cure or treat COVID in any way,” the group said, referencing the antimalarial drug Trump promoted in March as a possible cure for COVID-19. There was no definitive evidence to support this claim. 

The statement followed news that the president and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Biden unveils batch of his White House team Melania Trump unveils White House Christmas decorations USAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 MORE were experiencing mild symptoms after news broke that the two had contracted the virus. Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksWomen set to take key roles in Biden administration President says Trump Jr. doing 'very well' after COVID-19 diagnosis Donald Trump Jr. tests positive for COVID-19 MORE, one of the president's top aides, tested positive on Thursday. 

As of the early afternoon Friday, Vice President Pence, senior White House advisers Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerKushner going to Saudi Arabia, Qatar in last-ditch diplomatic push The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Coast-to-coast fears about post-holiday COVID-19 spread The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday MORE and Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Women set to take key roles in Biden administration New York expands Trump tax fraud investigations to include write-offs: report MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinFinancial groups applaud Biden Treasury pick Yellen US sanctions Chinese company for conducting business with Maduro regime Monumental economic challenges await Biden's Treasury secretary MORE had all tested negative. 

Trump’s campaign manager Bill StepienBill StepienFormer Trump campaign chief Parscale reportedly planning to write a book The Memo: Trump hits out as tide moves for Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Biden inches closer to victory MORE told staff in an email obtained by McClatchy Friday that “any campaign staff member who has had exposure to someone testing positive should immediately begin self-quarantine.”