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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 TrumpCaitlyn Jenner on Hannity touts Trump: 'He was a disruptor' Ivanka Trump doubles down on vaccine push with post celebrating second shot Conservative Club for Growth PAC comes out against Stefanik to replace Cheney 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 TrumpJill Biden a key figure in push to pitch White House plans Petition calls for Jill Biden to undo Trump-era changes to White House Rose Garden Fox News's Bret Baier posts vaccination selfie MORE were experiencing mild symptoms after news broke that the two had contracted the virus. Hope HicksHope HicksUPDATED: McEnany, Fox News talks on pause Trump selects Hicks, Bondi, Grenell and other allies for positions Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tests positive for coronavirus 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 KushnerNew Kushner group aims to promote relations between Arab states, Israel Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process Iran moves closer to a diplomatic breakthrough that may upset Israel MORE and Ivanka TrumpIvanka TrumpIvanka Trump doubles down on vaccine push with post celebrating second shot Jill Biden a key figure in push to pitch White House plans CNN: Trump advisers urge him to make pro-vaccine PSA MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinDemocrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer Yellen provides signature for paper currency Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says MORE had all tested negative. 

Trump’s campaign manager 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 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.”