Donald Trump admits coronavirus is hurting his family business and won’t rule out seeking government assistance for his company after Mar-a-Lago closed and his golf courses shuttered
- President Donald Trump won’t rule out accepting government assistance for his Trump Organization after the company closed Mar-a-Lago and other properties
- ‘I don’t know,’ Trump said Saturday at his daily coronavirus briefing
- The administration is working on a financial rescue package for workers and businesses affected by the disease
- Trump Organization staff have been fired at various facilities
- Trump said he did not give his sons warning of government closure guidelines
- ‘I didn’t speak to anybody,’ he said
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
President Donald Trump won’t rule out accepting government assistance for his Trump Organization after the company closed Mar-a-Lago, fired staff, and even shut down the bars at its Washington D.C. luxury hotel in the wake of the coronavirus.
‘I don’t know. I mean, I just don’t know what the government assistance would be for what I have. I have hotels. Everybody knew I had hotels when I got elected. They knew I was a successful person when I got elected so it’s one of those things,’ he said Saturday at his daily coronavirus briefing.
The administration is working on a financial rescue package for workers and businesses affected by the disease.
‘Is it hurting me? Yeah, it’s hurting Hilton, it’s hurting all the great hotel chains all over the world. It’s hurting everybody,’ the president said of the economic fallout of the coronavirus. ‘Very few businesses that are doing well.’
President Donald Trump won’t rule out accepting government assistance for his Trump Organization after the company closed Mar-a-Lago and other properties
But, he added, the closures were a good thing as more than 22,000 people in the United States have been affected and almost 300 people have died.
‘I think it’s a good thing. You don’t want people getting together hotels and clubs and everything, you get together. We want to beat this deal. I have many of them, hotels, clubs, things like that where people get together. I would think it would be a good practice to close them up,’ Trump said.
The president said he also didn’t give his sons – Don Jr. and Eric – who took over running the company after he was elected – any advance warning about restrictions coming to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.
‘I didn’t speak to anybody,’ he said. ‘I speak to my sons. They basically follow the rules. When they say close them down in New York, we close them down or wherever they may be having them.’
Several states where the Trump Organization has properties have closed bars, restaurants, gyms, clubs and other areas where large numbers of people gather to help contain the spread.
‘Various facilities are temporarily closed given local, state and federal mandates. We anxiously await the day when this pandemic is over and our world-class facilities can reopen,’ a spokesperson for the Trump Organization told DailyMail.com.
President Donald Trump’s company has closed Mar-a-Lago, which the president usually visits on weekends this time of year
Mar-a-Lago became Ground Zero for the coronavirus after a Brazilian official who dined there tested positive for the disease
Bars in The Trump International Hotel Washington D.C. closed because of the mayor’s call to close them in order to help stop the spread of the coronavirus
The White House is pushing for a $1 trillion package that would include $200 billion for the airlines and other critical industries directly affected by the coronavirus, such as the hospitality industry. Hotels and restaurants have been hit hard by the pandemic as people are staying home.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a close Trump ally who has dined at Mar-a-Lago, on Friday issued an executive order that all restaurants and gyms in the state must close. Restaurants are allowed to do take-out orders.
Earlier this week he closed bars and nightclubs to slow down the spread of the disease during Spring Break’s high peak season.
But the order also affected Trump’s Winter White House in Palm Beach, which became Ground Zero for the administration and the virus after a Brazilian official who attended a dinner there March 8 tested positive for the disease.
That had a cascade effect as the president was at the dinner along with several members of his administration and the first family. President Trump has tested negative for the disease.
But the club was closed Monday for a deep cleaning. Other guests from the March 8 event had to be tested for the virus. At least three cases have been tied to attendees there.
Normally, the president would spend weekends at Mar-a-Lago this time of year, where he would enjoy dinner with his fellow club members and spending time at his Trump International Golf Club West Palm Beach.
Additionally, earlier this week, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered all restaurants, bars, and clubs to close to help contain the pandemic.
That order closed the restaurant and bar at the Trump International Hotel Washington D.C., which sets just blocks from the White House.
The hotel is a popular watering hole for Republicans. Members of the Trump family have been seen in its bars and restaurants when they are in town. And the president sometimes dines there.
‘As an organization we are following federal, state and local direction and guidance very carefully,’ Eric Trump, who took over leading the company after his father’s election, told The New York Times.
The Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York has fired 40 members of its staff as it struggles ahead of a’significant shortfall in revenues’
At Trump’s National Doral Miami club, the golf course is closed but the pool remains open
The Trump Organization cut staff – 40 from its New York hotel and 95 per cent from its Washington location – along with closing golf courses in Los Angeles and the Miami area, the paper reported.
In a letter to owners of units in the Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York on Thursday and obtained by The Times, general manager Matthew Vandegrift warned of a ‘significant shortfall in revenues.’
‘While we recognize that hope is not a strategy, I can assure you we are thoroughly analyzing expenses,’ Vandegrift wrote. ‘Strategies have been deployed to mitigate the expected financial losses as a result of COVID-19.’
Several business have had to take lay off staff after being closed to help stop the spread of the highly contagious disease.
The Trump Organization owns more than a dozen golf clubs and at least partially owns or operates hotels in Chicago, Hawaii, Las Vegas, New York, Vancouver and Washington D.C., as well as Ireland and Scotland.
The president’s Bedminster New Jersey golf club, where he often spends summer weekends, is open for play although the club told members no caddies or other services were available.
At Trump’s National Doral Miami club, the golf course is closed but the pool remains open.
Tony Fauci dismisses Donald Trump’s claim malaria drugs are a ‘gift from god’ for coronavirus and says president is talking about ‘hope’ not whether it ‘actually works’
Dr. Tony Fauci said on Saturday that President Donald Trump was ‘talking about hope’ when he bragged that malaria drugs could be a ‘gift from god’ to cure the coronavirus and not whether the medication ‘actually works.’
‘The president is talking about hope for people and it’s not an unreasonable thing to hope for people,’ Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said at the daily press briefing.
But, he added, his job as a scientist – Fauci is an immunologist and AIDS expert – is to prove that a treatment and cure are safe and actually work.
‘There are those who lean to the point of giving hope and say give that person the option of having access to that drug and then you have the other group, which is my job as a scientist, to say my job is to ultimately prove without a doubt that a drug is not only safe, but that it actually works,’ he said.
Dr. Tony Fauci said President Donald Trump was ‘talking about hope’ when he bragged that malaria drugs could be a ‘gift from god’ to cure coronavirus
President Trump defended his embrace of malaria drugs without studies to back him up, saying ‘what do we have to lose’
Trump has continually pushed drugs used for malaria as a treatment option for coronavirus and his embrace of them has caused twinges in the medical community.
‘This would be a gift from heaven, this would be a gift from god if it works. We are going to pray to god that it does work,’ the president said Saturday.
Fauci acknowledged the two points of view – hope versus science – could come into conflict and noted he experienced just that during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.
‘Those two things are really not incompatible when you think about it, particularly when you’re in an arena where you don’t have anything that’s proven,’ he said.
For several days Trump has pushed drugs that have been used to cure malaria as a treatment option for the coronavirus, leading to questions as to whether he is raising unsubstantiated hope for people infected with the disease since there have been no studies proving it cures the virus.
The president exploded in anger on Friday when he was asked just that as he touted orders of the drug cloroquine – despite Fauci saying at the same press briefing that there was no evidence it worked and that even its safety was unknown.
Trump, on Saturday, argued ‘what do we have to lose’ when it comes to using the drugs.
‘Look, I feel as the impression goes, what do we have to lose, because, you know, I feel very good about it,’ he said.
The president acknowledged Fauci and other doctors wanted data on the subject.
‘Tony would feel like he likes samples done and I understand that too. Many doctors agree with that,’ he said, adding ‘we don’t have much time. We have a lot of very sick people in hospitals all over the place.’
The president has gotten defensive when asked about his embrace of the drugs as a coronavirus cure.
‘I’m a smart guy,’ he said on Friday. ‘I feel good about it.’
An angry Donald Trump went after NBC News’ Peter Alexander simply for asking what his message was to ‘scared’ Americans
NBC News’ Peter Alexander had asked President Trump if he was putting too positive of a spin on the coronavirus crisis and if he had a message for scared Americans
And he erupted at NBC’s Peter Alexander who asked the president about the issue, saying: ‘What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?’
Trump, who listened to the question with his eyes down, shaking his head, looked up and erupted: ‘I would say that you’re a terrible reporter, that’s what I’d say.
‘I think it’s a very nasty question. And I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people. The American people are looking for answers and they’re looking for hope. And you’re doing sensationalism and the same with NBC, and Concast, I don’t call it Comcast [NBC News’ ultimate parent company] for whom you work. You need to get back to good reporting.
‘Let’s see if it works.’
Before entering the briefing room on Saturday, the president urged the Food and Drug Administration in a tweet to speed approval for a malarial drug and an antibiotic to treat coronavirus patients, despite warnings from experts that further study is needed.
‘HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine,’ Trump wrote in a tweet on Saturday morning.
‘The FDA has moved mountains – Thank You! Hopefully they will BOTH…be put in use IMMEDIATELY. PEOPLE ARE DYING, MOVE FAST, and GOD BLESS EVERYONE!’ he continued.
Trump noted that ‘H works better with A,’ referring to the drug combination, and cited a small French study published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.
The president tagged the FDA and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn in his tweet, apparently urging them to action. An FDA spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com.
The French study, carried out on 20 patients earlier this month, is highly preliminary and was non-randomized.
However, it did find that six patients who received a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin had their viral load reduced faster than those on either hydroxychloroquine alone or neither of the drugs.
Hydroxychloroquine is a high-power drug used to treat malaria, which is a parasitic infection, as well as some non-infectious inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Azithromycin is a fairly common antibiotic that is used to treat a number of bacterial infections, such a strep throat.
Neither drug has been previously indicated to treat a viral infection such as coronavirus, although there were anecdotal reports of hydroxychloroquine being used successfully to treat SARS, a close relative of coronavirus.
Though both drugs are common, with side effects that are well understood, the combination of the two drugs is novel and its unclear what interactions they may have.
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