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Former GOP chair Michael Steele calls Trump 'the superspreader' in the White House

Former GOP chair Michael Steele calls Trump 'the superspreader' in the White House
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Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele referred to President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE as a “superspreader” on Tuesday as a growing number of White House officials test positive for the coronavirus.

Steele knocked Trump after footage emerged online showing the president taking off his mask after returning to the White House on Monday, despite his positive COVID-19 diagnosis several days earlier. Trump spent the weekend at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center getting treatment for the disease.

At the time, Trump appeared to be posing for photos on a balcony at the White House. Not long after, the president could be seen leaving to enter the building without his mask on.

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“He takes his mask off in contravention of everything we know. He is the superspreader. He is the problem in the White House, and everyone wants to tiptoe around it,” Steele said on MSNBC, where he serves as a political analyst.

“People are getting sick. We don’t know how and to what degree they will be sick over the next few weeks, and yet he’s standing there, thumbs up, like, you know, ‘I got a cold’ and ‘I got the sniffles,’” he said.

Trump drew widespread criticism on Monday after urging Americans not to “be afraid” of the disease, which has infected more than 7 million people in the country and has been linked to more than 210,000 deaths.

“Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment. We have the best medicines, all developed recently,” the president said in a video, in which he did not wear a mask.

“Don’t let it dominate. Don’t let it take over your lives. Don’t let that happen,” Trump went on, adding that he felt “better than 20 years ago.” 

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During Trump's time being hospitalized over the weekend, White House physician Sean Conley said the president was administered supplemental oxygen on Friday. At the time, Conley said Trump had developed a high fever and that his oxygen saturation had "transiently" dipped below 94 percent.

White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsDemocrats call Trump's COVID-19 response 'among the worst failures of leadership in American history' Winter COVID-19 wave poses threat to nation's hospitals Critics blast 'two-faced liar' Miles Taylor after revelation as NYT 'anonymous' author MORE also said at one point that the president’s blood oxygen level “dropped rapidly” on Friday before he began showing signs of improvement later during the weekend. 

The president’s COVID-19 diagnosis comes as several White House aides and officials have tested positive for the disease over the past week.