U.S President Donald Trump is “clearly flirting with disaster” by gathering rallies and attending the events without wearing a mask, health expert Dr. Jonathan Reiner, who was an adviser to the White House medical team under President George W. Bush, said Thursday evening.
“Just because he’s tested frequently — (it) isn’t a Superman cape. He can get the virus,” Reiner told CNN’s Kate Bolduan on “OutFront.” “The more he flirts with this, the higher the likelihood that he’ll get it.”
The President, Reiner continued, “is over 70 and he’s obese. He probably has close to a 20% chance of dying if he contracts the virus.”
The doctor’s message notifies one day before Donald Trump plans to go to South Dakota for a fireworks celebration at Mount Rushmore, where those attending are not needed to wear masks or to social-distance, according to the state’s governor.
Trump has made notable efforts to ignore the pandemic in recent weeks, painting a rosy picture of his administration’s response and urging reopenings even as states across the country wrestle with new surges of the coronavirus.
Last month, Trump was slapped by criticism for his tightly packed, in-person rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where multiple campaign staffers and Secret Service agents tested positive for the coronavirus.
“If you think about it, he went to Tulsa during a surge in viral activity there. He was in a tightly packed venue with thousands of people, almost all who were not wearing masks, and this is how you get, how you acquire, the virus,” Reiner said.
Trump confirmed earlier this week that he would have “no problem” wearing a face mask in public due to certain circumstances a pivot from his months-long decline to wear one in public at events where social distancing was not always noticed.
When questioned whether he would wear a face mask, Trump told Fox Business in a White House interview, “Oh, I would. I have. I mean people have seen me wearing one. If I’m in a group of people where we’re not 10 feet away — but usually I’m not in that position and everyone’s tested.”