President Donald Trump reportedly believes that journalists are trying to infect him with the coronavirus but he won’t give anyone the satisfaction of canceling any of his MAGA rallies.
Vanity Fair reported Monday that the commander in chief is frustrated by the public health crisis that has gripped the nation and world. It’s an epidemic that has resulted in 550 people being infected in the United States, killing more than 20. More than 111,000 people have been infected worldwide, while more than 3,800 have died.
The stock market is also taking a plunge. However, he has steadfastly believed that reporters are out to get him.
So much FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2020
“He wants Justice to open investigations of the media for market manipulation,” a source said over the Covid-19 coverage.
Trump doesn’t just believe that reporters want to paint him in a bad light but also want to make him sick. According to Vanity Fair, Trump feared journalists would try to purposefully contract coronavirus to give it to him on Air Force One. He has also instructed Secret Service to bar anyone with a cough from entering the White House grounds.
“Donald is a famous germaphobe. He hates it if someone is eating nachos and dips a chip back in after taking a bite. He calls them ‘double dippers,’” a prominent Republican said.
“He’s definitely melting down over this,” another source said.
Beyond reporters, Trump has to contend with lawmakers being impacted by the virus. On Monday, Rep. Doug Collins announced he would self-quarantine. Reps. Julia Brownley (D), Matt Gaetz (R) and Paul Gosar did the same. Gaetz, Collins and Sen. Ted Cruz attended the recent CPAC conference where it has been confirmed that an infected person was there.
The White House stated that Trump never interacted with the infected person. Trump did, however, make contact with Collins and Gaetz.
Trump’s handling of the crisis has seen him be criticized and not taking the matter seriously enough. He has downplayed its effects or misled the public.
“As of right now and yesterday, anybody that needs a test [can have one], that’s the thing, and the tests are all perfect, like the letter was perfect—the transcription was perfect,” he said Friday during a press conference.
At the moment, “slow federal action” has resulted in a short supply of coronavirus test kits. It has made it difficult for people to follow through on his orders. He even told folks to go to work when it has been encouraged to stay home or self-quarantine if needed.
“There’s very little that fazes anyone now,” a former official told Vanity Fair. “He’s just now waking up to the fact that this is bad, and he doesn’t know how to respond.”
Still, Trump has his loyal base of supporters who approve of his job performance. He is not going to let them down by canceling any rallies.
“He is going to resist until the very last minute,” a former West Wing official said. “He may take suggestions to stop shaking hands, but in terms of shutting stuff down, his position is: ‘No, I’m not going to do it.’”