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Trump calls his illness ‘a blessing from god,’ vows experimental drugs for all

By: Reuters Editorial | 8 October 2020

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U.S. President Donald Trump declared that catching the coronavirus was a “blessing from God” that exposed him to experimental treatments he vowed would become free for all Americans, in a video address released on Wednesday. Libby Hogan reports.

“Hi. Perhaps you recognize me: It’s your favorite president.”

In his first video message since returning to the White House from military hospital, President Donald Trump on Wednesday (October 8) declared that catching COVID-19 was a “blessing from God” that exposed him to experimental treatments, which he vowed would become free for all Americans.

“I walked in, I didn’t feel good. A short 24 hours later, I was feeling great…I want everybody to be given the same treatment as your president, because I feel great. I feel like perfect. So I think this was a blessing from God that I caught it. This was a blessing in disguise.”

Trump said that his use of medication from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals had allowed him to experience first-hand how effective it could be.

“I want to get for you what I got. And I’m going to make it free.”

The new claim on free medications came the day after Trump abruptly ended talks with Democrats, on a new round of stimulus for an economy gutted by the pandemic, with both sides far apart on how much money to devote to a deal.

Trump has been widely criticized for his response to the pandemic and putting his own staff at risk by discouraging the use of masks in the White House and on the campaign trail.

At least 19 people close to Trump have tested positive.

While few Americans have access to the around-the-clock, world-class medical care from a team of doctors he received, Trump offered words of encouragement to others suffering from the illness.

“You’re going to get better. You’re going to get better fast. Just like I did. So, again, a blessing in disguise. Good luck.”

The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, conducted between Oct. 2 to 6, found that 38% of adults approved of Trump‘s handling of the virus, while 56% said they disapproved.

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