Despite Coronavirus, Trump Keeps Shaking Hands

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Thomas Moriarty, Executive Vice President of CVS Health, during a news conference about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden at the White House, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump, a self-described germaphobe, can’t seem to stop shaking hands — even in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic.

Trump was surrounded by several retail and health care industry executives on Friday as he announced he was declaring the virus outbreak a national emergency.

One by one, the president invited them to the lectern at the Rose Garden press conference to say a few words. He also shook several of their hands.

Public health officials have told Americans to avoid handshakes, as a key social distancing measure, to try to limit the spread of the virus.

But Trump, who acknowledges he tried to avoid shaking hands before jumping into politics, now seems to have a hard time not putting his hand out for a greeting.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon appeared to be moving away from Trump after saying a few words. But then Trump put out his hand for a handshake and McMillon obliged.

Walgreens President Richard Ashworth and Trump shared a hearty handshake before he walked away. Thomas Moriarty, executive vice president at CVS Health, also gave the president a handshake.

Bruce Greenstein, executive vice president and chief strategy and innovation officer at in-home healthcare services company LHC Group, threw the president for a curve.

He extended his forearm for an elbow bump. Trump initially stuck out his hand but then shifted to accommodate.

“Okay, I like that,” Trump said. “That’s good.”

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    • Stop with your nonsense. This is serious business. By your own admission this is like the flu. Last year 30,000 ppl died from the flu. That is with the flu vaccine being heavily administered. Coronavirus has no vaccine and there is no telling how many people this Will effect. If the medical world is telling people to refrain from handshakes why would you encourage it? You keep on repeating “fake news only (?)will die” ?

      • The only Thing fake is your coward lying screen names.

        Now let’s be clear I am
        Not saying fake news. I am saying it’s hysteria. Drs are here to be crazily cautious especially in the 21st century. Like in all professions they get an over abundance unnecessary need to be extra cautious. It’s kind of like the hysteria before every hurricane or snow storm . There too the professionals say this is a serious manner. But it’s always nothing.

        In today’s super hyper tense fast pace news cycle everyone gets hysterical and paranoia. Like I said do what you always do and take a little more Caution. Shake hands but wash it afterwards. And yes keep schools open and stop this paranoia . Schools don’t close for the flu. please don’t send a child with fever to school

      • To hershoioif. That is assuming that the flu vaccine works. But what if it is not as effective as you are led to believe? Or worse, what if it actually contributes to the deaths?

  1. Such an inspiring leader we have in the man who claimed the virus was a hoax. I wonder if he has stocked up on ketchup, Big Macs and fried chicken for the duration.

    • You can’t help lying, can you? Even outfits like the Washington Post, about as far from supporters of Trump as possible, have stated that that’s a deliberate mischaracterization of what he said. What he said was that the notion that he’s not doing anything about it is a hoax.

      • I think the WP is wrong about that it was a mischaracterization. First of all, it is unclear from his comment which precisely which aspect was the hoax. To me it sounded like he was calling the democrats criticism that this virus was more serious than the flu and the government’s lack of action accordingly a hoax. So yes, I think it is fair for those that say he called it a hoax. If that is not sufficient, on March 9th, your dear leader tweeted (you can find the exact tweet if you don’t believe… this is not fake news) a tweet that essentially said this was nothing more than a flu. Sounds like to me he was suggesting that anyone that suggested this was more serious was engaging in a hoax.

        Fact is, in our very own community, Trump’s rhetoric has poisoned the intellect of so many who are convinced that this is nothing worse than a seasonal flu, even now after Trump is seemingly starting to take this seriously (if he took it seriously back when he restricted travel with China, one has to wonder what took so long to get testing in order, which still is way behind. A country like South Korea with 1/6th the US population has been since mid-February testing 10,000 people a day, back when they had maybe a couple of hundred cases. A month later we are not close to that and we have already crossed the 3,000 mark). Our community with the social mixing that goes on (shul, purim, etc) and the number of children (i.e. children are super-spreaders for disease, even if they are not as affected negatively by it) is especially susceptible to a rapid spread, is not responding adequately to this and instead it seems decisions are being made based on how health officials are deeming the public schools should be. I thought Torah is supposed to make us smarter not dumber.

        As to the dangers of this. Yeah, it is not so bad, if you don’t mind seeing 1-3% of the population die in one year from this (numbers out of South Korea seem to indicate 1% of the people who get this will die, as they have shown with testing they can stop this it is likely they have caught almost all cases in the country, hence I would suspect their numbers are fairly accurate). You get the higher end if this spreads as there is insufficient medical capacity (e.g. to provide respiratory support) once this gets a little out of hand. I guess if we need more seats in shuls and we want to reduce the population density a bit, our current stick our head in the sand approach is working. I get it that tefillos and learning are critical, but histhadlus cannot be ignored. In South Korea the single largest incidence of spread was a churchgoer who spread it to, I think, 40 people. Face it, our communal lifestyle makes us much more susceptible to spreading this and we need to take this seriously. Unfortunately, lies from Trump have poisoned the thinking of too many and unfortunately we may pay a price for this.

    • yes…a good leader who “doesn’t take responsibility at all” for two month lag in testing
      a good leader who when asked to speak to people who are panic shopping said “I understand it”

    • A good leader should be honest. Instead we spent a while with Trump saying lies and there is little trust left. A recent article suggested that elderly republicans overall are not very concerned about this. They are the highest risk group and with the US’s lack of action, we are running out of time to slow the spread of this. If this continues to spread two more weeks before major action is taken we will go from maybe an ultimate toll of 10,000 dead from this to 100,000 – 300,000 dead. Add another week delay in getting this under control and the death toll will jump to 700,000 – 1,300,000. Had Trump been honest, just maybe there would have been more people taking this seriously and as a result more action may have been taken at this time. Compare to South Korea, where at this point they were well ahead of us in testing, which has enabled them to keep the number of cases way down. While it may be impossible to completely stop (barring draconian measures as in China), if we slow this down long enough, it will not overwhelm our medical system (thus ensuring those who need care can get it, rather than as in Italy where people are not able to get respiratory support… this alone can reduce the ultimate toll from this significantly) and it will hopefully give us time to find a vaccine or develop therapies to help reduce the severity of it.

  2. The cursed democRATs with their global warming baloney now want to bankrupt poor people by forcing them to buy bags. Now that they cause paranoia all with the intention of stopping Trump from being re elected and they could not care less about the economy. Trump 2020 you bunch of liberal Torah haters.


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