- A Fox News host Greg Gutfeld said Trump got the coronavirus because “put himself on the line” and “was doing it for us.”
- Trump announced on Friday that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19, and flown to the Walter Reed hospital for monitoring and treatment.
- Gutfeld said that Trump was infected because he wanted to “walk out there on that battlefield” with Americans.
- But co-host Juan Williams pointed out that Trump had repeatedly broken coronavirus health guidelines and had said that “this was going to disappear magically.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A Fox News host painted President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis as a patriotic act, claiming the president was infected because he “put himself on the line” and “was doing it for us.”
Trump announced on Friday that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive, and he has since been hospitalized for treatment.
A host of Trump allies have tested positive since, and the diagnosis has raised a raft of questions about November’s presidential election as well as Trump’s own health, given he is over 70 and obese.
But host Greg Gutfeld put a heroic spin on the events while speaking on Fox News’ “The Five” talk show on Friday, after Trump’s trip to the hospital was announced and while Fox News aired footage of the helicopter waiting for his departure.
Gutfeld said: “He didn’t hide from the virus. The reason he didn’t hide from the virus is he didn’t want America to hide from the virus. If he was going to ask America to get back to work, right? To get back to work and experience a risk, he was going to do the same thing.
“He was going to walk out there on that battlefield with you, and not sit somewhere in a basement and tell you how you’ve got to get back to work, but not go out himself.”
He continued: “So, I think he put himself on the line –and the flaw being that as an optimist, as somebody who is trying to convey a message that we are going to get through this, and things are going to be better — he had to walk that walk, he had to do that.
“He could’ve scared the crap out of everybody, but he refused–and it goes back to his original point about trying to make sure that the positive attitude is maintained, along with a sense of concern. So he took the risk, he got the virus, but he was doing it for us.”
You can watch the moment here:
Juan Williams, one of Gutfeld’s co-hosts on “The Five,” countered that Trump had repeatedly broken public health guidelines and had downplayed the pandemic, calling Trump “a man who was very clear in saying that this was going to disappear magically.”
They fear that the diagnosis pivots voters’ minds back to Trump’s handling of the pandemic, for which he scores low with voters. Trump is already down in the polls.
And they worry that Trump will now come under more fire for his actions, including personally ignoring health advice, not wearing a mask, and repeatedly stating that the outbreak is about to end — even just hours before he tested positive.
As Business Insider’s Walt Hickey previously reported, Trump’s diagnosis has the power to imperil his campaign.
And new attention has been put on Trump’s actions given he attended events and fundraisers in the day before he tested positive, his own family did not wear masks during the presidential debate.
At least seven people tested positive after his White House event for his supreme court pick.
The US has more deaths and cases than any other country: More than 208,000 people have died of the virus, and more than 7.3 million people have been diagnosed.