July 24, 2021

‘A slap in the face’: Families of COVID-19 victims slam president’s downplaying of his diagnosis

Hours before he was released from a hospital stay for his coronavirus diagnosis Monday, President Trump tweeted his thoughts on the pandemic that’s killed over 210,000 Americans, saying, “Don’t be afraid.”

On Twitter, supporters of the president praised his strength and hailed his message, calling him “Our beloved President” and “BEST PRESIDENT EVER!”

But for scores of families who’ve lost loved ones to the disease, as well as first responders and other advocates, the response was far different. Many of them slammed the president’s cavalier sentiment and warned that it could make the situation worse.

Brian Walter, a New York City transit worker who lost his father to the virus, told ABC News in a statement that Trump’s advice to people not to fear the coronavirus “hurts.”

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