President Donald Trump did not mind interacting with supporters after he arrived in Florida on Monday, March 9, despite fears of the coronavirus outbreak.
The president landed in Orlando and approached a fence line to shake hands with a group of supporters before leaving the airport to attend a fundraiser, a tweet from NBC News showed.
President Trump shakes hands with people after arriving in Orlando, Florida. pic.twitter.com/rGVDaa9JsA
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 9, 2020
President Trump’s action came after U.S. health officials have urged Americans to limit person-to-person contact amid the virus spreading.
The president, however, said last week that the experts’ advice would not stop him from shaking hands.
“I love the people of this country, and you can’t be a politician and not shake hands,” President Trump said during a town hall meeting on Thursday night in Pennsylvania, Breitbart News reported.
“The bottom line is, I shake anybody’s hand now. I’m proud of it,” he said. “They’re people that I love. They’re people that I want to take care of.”
In a tweet on Monday morning, President Trump downplayed the threat of coronavirus, comparing it to the common flu that kills ten thousands of American people per year.
“So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!” he wrote.
So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2020
The coronavirus, which first broke out in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, has now spread to more than 100 countries and territories in the world, killing more than 4,000 people as of late Monday, with nearly 115,000 other confirmed cases and more than 64,000 people recovered.
In the United States, confirmed cases surpassed 750 across more than 30 states and the District of Columbia, with 26 deaths reported as of Monday.