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Donald and Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19

President Donald Trump stands on stage with first lady Melania Trump after the first presidential debate with Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

President Donald Trump stands on stage with first lady Melania Trump after the first presidential debate with Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

By ZEKE MILLER and JILL COLVIN Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus, the president tweeted early Friday.

Trump's positive test comes just hours after the White House announced that senior aide Hope Hicks came down with the virus after traveling with the president several times this week. Trump was last seen by reporters returning to the White House on Thursday evening and looked to be in good health. Trump is 74 years old, putting him at higher risk of serious complications from a virus that has now killed more than 200,000 people nationwide.

"Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!" Trump tweeted.

Trump announced late Thursday that he and first lady Melania Trump were beginning a "quarantine process" after Hicks came down with the virus, though it wasn't clear what that entailed. It can take days for an infection to be detectable by a test.

The diagnosis marks a major blow for a president who has been trying desperately to convince the American public that the worst of the pandemic is behind them even as cases continue to rise with less than four months before Election Day. And it stands as the most serious known public health scare encountered by any sitting American president in recent history.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and breathing trouble. Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.

In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday, Trump said he was awaiting results of a COVID-19 test. "Whether we quarantine or whether we have it, I don't know," he said, adding that first lady Melania Trump was also awaiting results.

Hicks traveled with the president multiple times this week, including aboard Marine One, the presidential helicopter, and on Air Force One to a rally in Minnesota on Wednesday, and aboard Air Force One to Tuesday night's first presidential debate in Cleveland.

Trump had consistently played down concerns about being personally vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, even after White House staff and allies were exposed and sickened.

"I felt no vulnerability whatsoever," he said told reporters back in May.

He has instead encouraged governors to reopen their states and tried to focus the nation's attention on efforts to revive the economy — not a growing death toll — as he seeks another four-year term.

Some studies suggest COVID-19 patients who are obese may be at higher risk of being seriously sickened by the virus, although it's unclear whether that's because they are more likely to have other health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes. In his 2019 physical, Trump met the technical threshold for obesity.

The news was sure to rattle an already shaken nation still grappling with how to safely reopen while avoiding further spikes. The White House has access to near-unlimited resources, including a constant supply of quick-result tests, and still failed to keep the president safe, raising questions about how the rest of the country will be able to protect its workers, students and the public as businesses and schools reopen.

Trump, the vice president and other senior staff have been tested for COVID-19 daily since two people who work at the White House complex tested positive in early May, prompting the White House to step up precautions. Everyone who comes into contact with the president also receives a quick-result test.

Yet since the early days of the pandemic, experts have questioned the health and safety protocols at the White House and asked why more wasn't being done to protect the commander in chief. Trump continued to shake hands with visitors long after public health officials were warning against it and he initially resisted being tested. He has been reluctant to practice his own administration's social distancing guidelines for fear of looking weak, including refusing under almost all circumstances to wear a mask in public.

Trump is not the only major world leader known to have contracted the virus. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent a week in the hospital, including three nights in intensive care, where he was given oxygen and watched around the clock by medical workers. German Chancellor Angela Merkel self-isolated after a doctor who gave her a vaccination tested positive for the virus, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau worked from home after his wife fell ill.

The White House got its first COVID-19 scare in early March when at least three people who later tested positive came in close proximity to the president at his private Florida club. That included members of the Brazilian president's delegation, including the Brazilian chargé d'affaires, who sat at Trump's dinner table.

In mid-March, as the virus continued to spread across the country, the White House began taking the temperature of everyone entering the White House complex, and in April, it began administering rapid COVID-19 tests to all those in close proximity to the president, with staffers being tested about once a week. The frequent tests gave some staff the false impression the complex was safe from the virus, and few, as a result, followed recommended safety protocols, including wearing masks.

But then the bubble broke.

On May 7, the White House announced that a member of the military serving as one of the president's personal valets tested positive for the virus, followed a day later by a positive diagnosis for Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary.

Even then, Trump said he was "not worried" about the virus spreading in the White House. But officials again stepped up safety protocols for the complex, directing everyone entering the West Wing to wear a mask.

"I think it's very well contained, actually," Trump told reporters on May 11.

But by June, concerns at the White House had dissipated once again, with few staffers bothering with masks even as more and more people tested positive for the virus, including campaign staffers preparing for a Tulsa rally and Secret Service agents.

On July 3rd, Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is dating Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., tested positive in South Dakota before an Independence Day fireworks show at Mount Rushmore. Guilfoyle, a former Fox News personality who works for Trump's campaign, had not flown on Air Force One and had not been in direct contact with the president, though she had had contact with numerous top GOP officials.

In July, Trump's national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, tested positive.

While there is currently no evidence that Trump is seriously ill, the positive test also raises questions about what would happen if he were to become incapacitated due to illness. The Constitution's 25th Amendment spells out the procedures under which a president can declare themselves "unable to discharge the powers and duties" of the presidency. If he were to make that call, Trump would transmit a written note to the Senate president pro tempore, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Pence would serve as acting president until Trump transmitted "a written declaration to the contrary."

The vice president and a majority of either the Cabinet or another body established by law, can also declare the president unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, in which case Pence would "immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President" until Trump could provide a written declaration to the contrary.


Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report.

Comments

K4C 3 years, 4 months ago

I am REPORTING your POST as a HATE POST

you surely don't represent any Bahamian I know

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moncurcool 3 years, 4 months ago

guess you need to think again. parents always said what goes around comes around. interesting how he can test positive for a virus he called fake.

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K4C 3 years, 4 months ago

think again about what ?

why would anyone want to see his demise

ask your parents that question

my parents always said to me, speak well of others, or in today's terms, if you can't say anything nice about someone STFU

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proudloudandfnm 3 years, 4 months ago

Because he's an evil, ignorant, bully, thief, con artist. If he dies its time to celebrate...

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C2B 3 years, 4 months ago

Your parents used top say STFU to their kids? Nice. BTW if you are black or hispanic like me; Trump would like to see your demise. So maybe "him before me" would be the correct wording.

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proudloudandfnm 3 years, 4 months ago

No problem. I actually do hate him..

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joeblow 3 years, 4 months ago

... that statement almost does not seem human. Its hard to imagine one could be so ignorant, calloused and nasty regarding another human life. Regardless of what you may think of him, you seem to have sunken much lower. Just remember, you are at risk of getting covid too. May you reap more than you have sown in this regard!!

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John 3 years, 4 months ago

Many said he looked heated and even sweaty during the debate. The man that called the virus a hoax and at one point refused to wear a mask

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Clamshell 3 years, 4 months ago

At one point? He’s very rarely worn a mask, even in situations where he was in close contact with scores of other people.

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John 3 years, 4 months ago

And his intention was to expose some of Joe Biden's health issues... Karma? Hopefully it will temper him from feeling invincible.

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ohdrap4 3 years, 4 months ago

We will get through this TOGETHER!" Trump tweeted.

FREE MELANIA! FREE MELANIA!

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themessenger 3 years, 4 months ago

Poetic justice for the Cheif White Supremacist................

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ISpeakFacts 3 years, 4 months ago

If Trump d!es via the Chinese Virus, his "Proud Boys" will take it out on EVERYBODY!

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Proguing 3 years, 4 months ago

Good, Trump has now a good reason to postpone the election. It was crazy in the first place to hold it in the middle of a pandemic.

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themessenger 3 years, 4 months ago

You need to share some of whatever that is you smoking........

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Clamshell 3 years, 4 months ago

Under the U.S. Constitution, Mr. Trump does not have the power to postpone the election. Period.

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islandgirl 3 years, 4 months ago

What horrible vitriolic comments coming from Bahamians that espouse to be Christians. How shameful to wish such ill will towards anyone and in particular President Trump and Mrs. Trump. I pray that you and your families are untouched by this virus and that you also remember "what goes around comes around".

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Dawes 3 years, 4 months ago

We are a pretend Christian nation, everyone knows this. When it suits us we will be Christian but when we take the veneer off we are not (and when this is pointed out we will blame someone else be it foreigners or gays for our sins).

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Cas0072 3 years, 4 months ago

The pretend Christians as you call them are mostly Old Testament thumpers and believe you reap what you sow. No one is obligated to forget his character and his deeds because he is sick, especially the people that feel they have been harmed by him. The worst part of Bahamas’ faux Christian culture is the hypocrite tendency to laud everyone as as saints when they die or take ill.

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themessenger 3 years, 4 months ago

Don't forget our Haitian brethren, our favorite targets for the blame game... Lets all practice Christianity Trump Style, stand on the church steps hold ing a Bible upside down while surrounded by his adoring National Guard Troops Lol.

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Cas0072 3 years, 4 months ago

Your favorite target maybe because there are many legitimate concerns with illegal migration, but bury your head in the sand about a real issue. That shows you have more in common with Trump than you think. If you are so different, show ‘em them way. Show us how a country that can’t provide for its own can play the hero for Haitians. That would be akin to the feeding the five thousand miracle. The faux Christians will convert for real if you can pull that off.

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themessenger 3 years, 4 months ago

Tongue in cheek mussy outside your comprehension Lol.

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Cas0072 3 years, 4 months ago

I think it is beyond your comprehension. Is that attempt at humor not based on what you believe to be a real problem? If illegal immigrant sympathizers were half are as concerned about their fellow Bahamians as you are about Haitians, just maybe there would be enough goodwill and resources to go around.

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proudloudandfnm 3 years, 4 months ago

What legitimate concerns? Racism? Not legit sorry.

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proudloudandfnm 3 years, 4 months ago

Don't forget the troops armed with chemical spray to clear the way so he could take the picture...

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John 3 years, 4 months ago

And who are you to say these are all Bahamians posting? Some of these are paid bloggers!

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Baha10 3 years, 4 months ago

As with Brave, I wish Trump and the First Lady a full and healthy recovery ... differences of political opinion and missteps should not be exploited in such circumstances.

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bahamianson 3 years, 4 months ago

Bana , I am with you. i can't believe people whom criticize others for not being tolerant are not tolerant themselves. I am not a Biden , Obama, Bill or Hillary fan. I am not a fan at all, but all blessings to them on their political opinion which differs from mine. They are human beings and are entitled to their views , and so am I. I am a Bahamian, but if I support trump and the republican party, I am not stupid, a fool , a bigot, racist and the list goes on. Maybe Bahamians should listen to Fox news sometimes like I listen to CNN.

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whogothere 3 years, 4 months ago

Well the good news for trump being 74 and obese is that he still has 94% chance of beating this COVID . Pretty good odds.

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tribanon 3 years, 4 months ago

As one world renowned medical doctor noted, Trump may be overweight but he has an extremely strong mental constitution and an absolutely amazing level of energy and stamina; he therefore behaves more like a fit 45 year-old man than a 74 year-old man. The doctor went on to say that Trump will likely only experience mild symptoms which should quickly disappear with early treatment and a little rest.

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Clamshell 3 years, 4 months ago

... uh ... “an extremely strong mental constitution” has no impact on a virus. Ask Boris Johnson, he had to be hospitalized and hooked to an O2 tank.

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tribanon 3 years, 4 months ago

And BJ might well be dead today were it not for his similarly strong mental constitution.

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Clamshell 3 years, 4 months ago

Bullshit. A virus does not respond to a “strong mental constitution.” It’s the individual’s natural bodily resistance factors that determine how badly the virus will affect them.

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tribanon 3 years, 4 months ago

Never under estimate the mysterious healing effects of one's will to live. The mind is well known to be a powerful thing in most fields of medicine.

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Clamshell 3 years, 4 months ago

Everything you know about viruses and immune systems would fit in a thimble and there would be room left over for your brain.

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whogothere 3 years, 4 months ago

Bortis and trump are made for one another not with standing that Borris recovered just fine, let’s not exaggerate the danger of o2 and a hospital bed out of a abundance of caution for a national leader.

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C2B 3 years, 4 months ago

"renowned medical doctor"? Does he/she have a name? Is it Ronny his old Dr who said he was a sexy thing that might live to 140 if he could lay off the Mickey D's and get some exercise? He is a 74 year old, obese, borderline diabetic, who was rushed to the Hospital a year ago with a mild stroke. This is only a picture of health by Bahamian standards. His odds of survival more like 80%. He is showing symptoms already so that's not a good sign. All the same, I hope he lives a long life so he can go to prison with his kids for money laundering, wire fraud, bank fraud, and insurance fraud.

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Honestman 3 years, 4 months ago

I would imagine that more than 200,000 American families have little sympathy with the President at this moment. Trump has acted in callous disregard for the health of his citizens.

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tribanon 3 years, 4 months ago

You're clearly very vulnerable to the kind of fake news that's being constantly spewed by the likes of CNN. Suggest you stop watching the cable news stations like so many of us have now done.

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proudloudandfnm 3 years, 4 months ago

Don't need CNN to know trump is scum.. sorry try again...

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C2B 3 years, 4 months ago

It's actually higher than. 209,000. Death statistics in the US this year show an increase in almost every category. So, you either believe that by coincidence, every other cause of death is up, or Covid deaths are under reported. I am guessing you didn't study statistics so I won't bore you with the improbability of the former.

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joeblow 3 years, 4 months ago

@ Honestman... Trump is not responsible for the actions of individual governors. Many forget that Trump sent a large floating hospital to New York which Mario Cuomo refused to use to quarantine positive patients and instead send covid positive patients into nursing homes which affected the vulnerable elderly. How is that Trumps fault?? You people recite talking points without actual thought!

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Jim 3 years, 4 months ago

Noticed that most Bahamians watch CNN. Before rendering these political opinions do some evidence based research, turn off CNN, waych Fox news and talk with your fellow Bahamians that are doing just that.

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Cas0072 3 years, 4 months ago

Watch Fox News so that they can explain what Trump really meant by his every vile and ignorant comment? CNN does not put words in his mouth. It speaks to his character that so many believe that his illness is a scam. He is a grown man and many people will receive news of his illness with the same callous disregard that he has shown for others.

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whogothere 3 years, 4 months ago

Fox and cnn are the same coin...but media Has re-engineered the ferocity of truth and it equally given force to opinion over facts. Both sides cherry pick, for clicks while sacrificing context.

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Cas0072 3 years, 4 months ago

True, but still no one puts words in his mouth. Read the many books that are being written about him from people defecting from his camp and his own family. It lines up with the CNN coverage.

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whogothere 3 years, 4 months ago

I m not trump fan. And was a cnn watcher before COVID. But MSM treatment of this crisis has been so devoid of fact that I m left questioning previous beliefs about everything including the orange man..

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Cas0072 3 years, 4 months ago

MSM? Mainstream media? Again his attitude toward COVID is well documented in his own words and deeds. He just taunted Joe Biden about wearing a mask in the debate. His family peeled off their masks once they were seated and refused one offered by a Dr. at the Cleveland Clinic where the debate took place. And this was on video as are many of Trumps statements that are used to expose his contradictions and outright lies. Fox strokes his ego like the masses in the emperor with no clothes and CNN exposes his nakedness at every chance. If you want so called balance watch both.

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whogothere 3 years, 4 months ago

You re preaching to the choir on trump, but the MSM stroked the masses into a frenzy on cases without death, out right lied in some situations about the status of hospitals, promoted outlier rear outcomes of disease, created mass hysteria, failed to truly investigate with any journalistic integrity manner in which the pandemic was unfolded, seemingly with the only intention of dethroning a pathetic orange individual. I understand their motives on a personal level but when it comes quality of Journalism I would hope for a higher standard.

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John 3 years, 4 months ago

Are you serious? Like seriously out of your mind?

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themessenger 3 years, 4 months ago

@Jim & tribanon, obviously neither of you watched the "Debate" on Tuesday night when all of Trumps "Statesmanlike" qualities were on display for the whole world to see. You equally obviously didn't listen to Fox News Debate Moderator Chris Wallace's remarks about Trump's boorish behaviour afterwards either. But then, maybe both of you consider that sort of behaviour the norm, must have been living in the Bahamas for too long Lol. Tribanon & Jim for co-leaders of the Proud Boys Bahamas Branch LMAO.

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tribanon 3 years, 4 months ago

Cut the 'poor' billionaire some slack. Have you ever tried to debate a standing corpse? It must be really quite a challenge to do so. LOL

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Cas0072 3 years, 4 months ago

Billionaire? That is questionable. Corpse? So says Donald Trump’s camp. If true, only a despicable person would mock the mental and physical decline of another person. So much so that it features prominently in his campaign. Meanwhile, he hides his own medical records even now and has public mental lapses himself. Projection much?

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Clamshell 3 years, 4 months ago

Gail Collins of The New York Times once referred to him in a column as a “thousandaire” ... LMAO ... it enraged Mr. Trump to the point that he sent her a copy of her newspaper column on which he’d scrawled with a Shapie that she had “a face like a dog.” Classy, eh?

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tribanon 3 years, 4 months ago

Only a despicable far left leaning out of control Democrat Party would try running a standing corpse for President of the USA. Biden's wife really should be ashamed for allowing her physically and mentally unfit husband to be used as a puppet. I thought there were laws in the US to prevent the cruel abuse of the elderly.

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Cas0072 3 years, 4 months ago

It says much that Donald Trump is running neck and neck with and will likely lose to a corpse.

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tribanon 3 years, 4 months ago

You probably also believed the many polls that had Hilliary as the clear front runner immediately before the November 2016 presidential election. LOL

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ColumbusPillow 3 years, 4 months ago

Most comments to the Tribune appear to suggest that Bahamians are addicted to CNN which is a most biased news source. Go YouTube!

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themessenger 3 years, 4 months ago

Youtube??? I guess you do the Facebook thing too. Yinna ain never hear bout BBC and Al Jazeera aye?

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John 3 years, 4 months ago

You can imagine the conversation in the White House last night. Melania "But Donald, I told you to wear the mask." Donald: "O sush with it, we will beat this together with all my supporters." Imagine the hundreds that attended his rallies without social distancing or wearing masks.

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John 3 years, 4 months ago

And it's not a Chinese virus! It was in The Bahamas (Abaco and Grand Bahama) since Dorian last year. And guess what happened to the pilots who flew the reconnaissance aircraft over the hurricane?

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proudloudandfnm 3 years, 4 months ago

Not a damned thing. The virus didn't exist yet.

Please stop with the stupid conspiracy theories...

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tribanon 3 years, 4 months ago

Leave him alone....he's off his meds again....unfortunately he has relapses from time to time.

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i_land_boy 3 years, 4 months ago

Why would anyone want anything bad to happen to Drumpf? he needs to live so he can go to jail.

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proudloudandfnm 3 years, 4 months ago

Poor corona, tested positive for trump....

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rodentos 3 years, 4 months ago

you do not understand it! it is a plot! He sent out Melania to contract the virus to contract it himself and then to carry it to Biden @ debate. Now there is a good chance Biden will be ripped apart by covid and he can stay POTUS for another term!

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proudloudandfnm 3 years, 4 months ago

Biden has already tested negative. They were like 15 feet apart. Biden is safe. And honestly Biden is in much better physical shape. All we've seen from trump is he can lift a cup of water with one hand. Biden was riding his bike like he was in his 20s.

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tribanon 3 years, 4 months ago

You're suffering from TDS. LOL

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Economist 3 years, 4 months ago

This has been reported by BBC, CBC, and several other international organizions which, togetherwith ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC Trump says are fake news soooo this is all just fake news.

Trump must be fine. So why are you all commenting on fake news?

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Proguing 3 years, 4 months ago

Michael Moore says it's fake news and that Trump will be re-elected, just as he predicted the same 4 years ago (when as now nobody believed him). History does repeat itself...

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