- President Donald Trump’s campaign communications director, Erin Perrine, faulted Democratic nominee Joe Biden for not contracting the coronavirus during a Fox News interview Monday.
- “He has experience — now — fighting the coronavirus as an individual. Those firsthand experiences, Joe Biden, he doesn’t have those,” Perrine said when asked if Trump would shift his coronavirus messaging after being hospitalized.
- Trump’s campaign was upended late last week when he disclosed that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
- He has since been hospitalized and was given supplemental oxygen twice.
- Perrine said Trump has “a different tone overall” from Biden on the virus because of his experience as president and a businessman, arguing that having the virus personally will only enhance the president’s messaging.
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The Trump campaign’s communications director, Erin Perrine, faulted Democratic nominee Joe Biden for not contracting the coronavirus during a Fox News appearance on Monday morning.
Perrine, speaking for the campaign and not the administration, blamed Biden for not having “those firsthand experiences” of dealing with COVID-19 like Trump does.
“Well, firsthand experience is always going to change how someone relates to something that’s been happening,” she said when Fox News host Sandra Smith asked whether Trump will change his coronavirus messaging following in light of his diagnosis and subsequent hospitalization.
—Tim Hogan (@timjhogan) October 5, 2020
“He has experience — now — fighting the coronavirus as an individual. Those firsthand experiences, Joe Biden, he doesn’t have those,” Perrine said.
She added that Trump has “a different tone overall” from Biden on the virus because of his experience as president and a businessman, arguing that having the virus personally will only enhance the president’s messaging.
Trump’s campaign was upended last week after it surfaced that he and his top aide, White House counselor Hope Hicks, had tested positive for coronavirus, which the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March.
Bloomberg News first reported on Thursday evening that Hicks had tested positive. About an hour later, Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that he was awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test, and he announced around 1 a.m. ET Friday that he and First Lady Melania Trump had been diagnosed positive.
However, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Trump did not disclose to Hannity that he had already tested positive for COVID-19 by the time they spoke and was waiting for the results of a second test.
The president was flown to Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday evening after experiencing symptoms including a cough and fever. He was also given supplemental oxygen on Friday and Saturday, his physician, Dr. Sean Conley, told reporters over the weekend.
Conley did not initially reveal that the president was given oxygen and only disclosed that information after several media outlets reported on the news.
Later Sunday, the president sparked widespread backlash when he ventured out of Walter Reed in a presidential motorcade to drive by and wave at supporters. He was in a bulletproof and hermetically sealed SUV with several Secret Service agents, and critics said the president’s decision needlessly endangered the agents.
On Monday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced that she had also tested positive for the virus.
McEnany is one of more than two dozen people in Trump’s orbit who have been diagnosed positive in recent days. After her announcement, it was also reported that two aides in the White House communications office, as well as other mid-level staffers, had tested positive.
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