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Greg Gutfeld, co-host of Fox News’ “The Five,” gave a passionate defense of President Donald Trump on Friday following his announcement that both he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19.
While some, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), criticized the president and sought to politicize his illness to push and legitimize ongoing mask and social distancing mandates, Gutfeld said Trump put himself “on the line” in order to revitalize the country.
In talking about the “script being flipped” now in terms of the president allegedly shunning coronavirus guidelines and then winding up catching COVID-19, Gutfeld said that could simply be a “flaw” that Trump “didn’t hide himself from the virus.”
“And the reason why he didn’t hide from the virus is because he didn’t want America to hide from the virus. If he was going to ask America to get back to work… and experience a risk, he was going to do the same thing,” Gutfeld said.
“He was going to walk out there on that battlefield with you and not sit somewhere in a basement and tell you how you’ve got to get back to work, but not go out himself.
“So, I think he put himself on the line and that flaw being that, as an optimist, as somebody who’s trying to convey a message that we’re gonna get through this and things are gonna be better, he had to walk that walk,” the co-host continued. “He had to do that.” He could have scared the crap out of everybody but he refused,”
Gutfeld then suggested that the president’s actions had to match his talk — his calls for Americans to remain positive about progress against the virus and the country’s ability to get through it.
“He could have scared the crap out of everybody, but he refused and it goes back to his original point about trying to make sure the positive attitude is maintained along with a sense of concern. He took the risk. He got the virus. That’s because was doing it for us,” said Gutfeld.
Fellow co-host Juan Wiliams interjected.
“This is a difficult moment and, again, we just want to reiterate our best wishes to him,” Williams said.
“I did,” Gutfeld cut in.
“But he is a man who was very clear in saying that this was going to disappear magically. He’s a guy who was mocking, at times, former Vice President Biden for wearing a mask, even recently,” Williams stated. “He’s a guy who’s said, what’s with these big social circles?”
“So, he deserved it?” Gutfeld interjected again.
“No, I’m not saying that,” Williams responded, who added that Trump “held rallies in defiance of public health officials. So, the flip of the script is, he now is clearly in a position to be the national leader in saying, ‘I understand the seriousness of this virus, and I want us as the American people to get through this, and here are steps can take.”
Gutfeld countered that Democrats and public health experts early on where also dismissing the seriousness of the virus at the same time the president tried to downplay it.
“None of the ‘ha ha, told you so” audience never disagreed with the experts when they said don’t get masks because they were hoarding,” he said.
“None of the ‘ha ha, I told you so’ experts ever agreed with Trump about the travel ban. None of the ‘ha ha, I told you so’ experts said anything when de Blasio or Pelosi said live life as normal. So I think you people don’t deserve the prize of ‘aha, I told you so’ if you didn’t share the risk and make a statement at the start,” added Gutfeld.
During a segment on Mark Levin’s Friday talk radio program, Fox News contributor Dr. Marc Siegel called in to discuss the president’s condition. During that exchange, both Levin and Siegel, who are familiar with the president and those in his inner circle, disputed oft-repeated claims by Democrats that Trump has never taken the virus seriously, including social distancing measures.
Also, Levin praised the president’s work ethic, noting that he puts in long hours every day meeting with world leaders and running the country — all while dealing with the pandemic and campaigning for reelection.
“Even since the onset of this virus, Donald Trump has been one of the most active and successful presidents not only before the pandemic but since. He does not waste a day of his presidency. He did not govern from the White House basement and he did not put his own health before his presidential duties,” the host said.
“And despite his critics, those who work with President Trump know that he follows the science and the advice of doctors, he social distances and wears a mask whenever appropriate. President Trump deserves our thanks, support, and blessings.”
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