Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Trump critics can't believe he went to buffet fundraiser hours before his COVID-19 announcement

President Trump's physician, Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley, stirred some confusion Saturday morning when he said the president was doing "extremely well" 72 hours after his coronavirus diagnosis. That implied the president learned he tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday morning and, therefore, would have attended a fundraising event with a buffet lunch at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminister, New Jersey, while he was aware that he was infected. That sparked angry reactions, although Conley clarified his comments later on Saturday, saying that he meant Trump was on "day three" of his diagnosis and that the original timeline — with Trump learning his result Thursday evening — was correct.

There are still skeptics, but some Trump critics think the argument over when exactly Trump tested positive misses the point. That's because the president was aware that his adviser Hope Hicks received a positive result on Wednesday. Trump, his critics argue, was armed with the knowledge that a close contact was infected, but still went to the event, which put people at risk.

It's also worth noting that buffets have generally been viewed as a public health risk throughout the public and, in March, the Food and Drug Administration recommended discontinuing them while the virus remained a threat.