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 Trump 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.” 

“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 Trump were experiencing mild symptoms after news broke that the two had contracted the virus. Hope Hicks, 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 Kushner and Ivanka Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had all tested negative. 

Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien 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.”

Tags 2020 Trump campaign Bill Stepien Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Hope Hicks Ivanka Trump Jared Kushner Joe Biden Melania Trump Steven Mnuchin The Lincoln Project

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