In a recent Vanity Fair article, sources close to President Donald Trump spoke out about his handling of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. and its impact on his mental wellbeing. While he has publicly seemed nonchalant about the outbreak, tweeting "so much fake news" on Monday, private sources say that Trump is allegedly worried that journalists may try to contract the virus and purposely give it to him.
"He's definitely melting down over this," said the source, adding that the president has asked the Secret Service to screen people entering the White House and bar anyone who appears to have a cough.
Another source, a prominent Republican, said that Trump is a "famous germaphobe," and that he has a dislike for anyone who double dips their chips while eating nachos. Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg recalled that the President was "obsessed with Ebola." However, one visitor at Trump's Mar-a-Lago Hotel contradicted the Republican's claim, saying that Trump was more than willing to give handshakes while there over the weekend.
Many feel that Trump's alleged worry over contracting coronavirus is because he may feel that the media is manipulating the messaging around the virus. He is also reportedly frustrated that his team has been unable to get ahead of the news cycle surrounding the virus. As NPR reports, Trump fired White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney last week, replacing him with a former member of the House Freedom Caucus, Mark Meadows. A source briefed on the decision said that Trump felt that the virus was "getting beyond Mick."
Additionally, another source claimed that Trump was upset with economic adviser Larry Kudlow after he refused to speak at a White House briefing regarding the coronavirus and its possible impact on the economy.
"Larry didn't want to have to take questions about the coronavirus," the source said, adding that Kudlow didn't want to answer pointed questions about the coronavirus because he's not a doctor. "How can he answer questions about something he doesn't know?"
Despite Trump's alleged fear of contracting the virus, Trump has refused to stop holding his rallies.
"We will have tremendous rallies and we're doing very well, and we've done a fantastic job with respect to that subject," Trump said in regard to his rallies. Though journalist Joshua Holland claimed that the virus was more likely to spread in areas populated by Trump supporters because of the president's alleged rhetoric about the virus, Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have also continued to hold rallies despite the coronavirus outbreak.