President Donald J. Trump addresses his remarks at the reception to honor Gold Star Families Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in the East Room of the White House.
  • President Donald Trump told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo Thursday morning that he figured he would eventually catch Covid-19 because he is around people.
  • He then called attention to a recent Gold Star families event, saying that the families of fallen soldiers who attended got within an inch of his face, hugging him and kissing him. Photos show the White House seated guests right next to each other at the indoor event, and very few wore maks.
  • Prior to his diagnosis last week but after close aide Hope Hicks tested positive, he suggested that members of military or law enforcement were to blame for infecting his staff because they get too close.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump suggested Thursday that family members of deceased troops might have given him Covid-19 at a recent White House event days before he contracted the virus.

"I meet a lot of people. I have to. I'm the president of the country. I can't hang around in a basement, so I figured there would be a chance that I would catch it," the president told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo Thursday morning.

"Sometimes I'd be within groups, for instance, Gold Star families," Trump said. "I met with Gold Star families. I didn't want to cancel that."

The president attended the White House event recognising the families of 20 fallen service members on Gold Star Mother's and Family's Day. The event was held on the last Sunday in September, just four days before Trump announced on Twitter that he and his wife had tested positive for Covid-19.

Photos from the indoor event show the chairs set up right next to each other and that most attendees did not wear masks, measures which are strongly recommended by health professionals to limit the virus' spread.

"They all came up to me and were telling me a story. Maria, it was really amazing actually. Beautiful but sad," Trump said of the event. "They tell me these stories, and I can't say 'Back up. Stand ten feet.' You know, I just can't do it."

"They're telling the story of their son who just died," he said. "I can't back up, Maria, and say, 'Give me room.'"

"They come within an inch of my face sometimes. They want to hug me, and they want to kiss me, and they do, and frankly, I'm not telling them to back up. I'm not doing it, but I did say it's like, you know, it's obviously dangerous. It's a dangerous thing, I guess, if you go by the COVID thing," Trump continued.

"I look at the numbers," he said. "I figured that probably at some point I'd catch it."

The White House told the veterans group The Greatest Generations Foundation on Friday that there might have been Covid-19 exposure at the Sept. 27 event, The Daily Beast reported, but the White House, according to The Washington Post, did not notify most, if any, of the Gold Star families who attended.

Last Thursday, before Trump announced that he had tested positive for Covid-19, news broke that the president's aide and adviser Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus.

Speaking to Fox News' Sean Hannity last Thursday evening, he suggested that members of the military or law enforcement were to blame for infecting his staff.

"It's very hard when you're with soldiers, when you're with airmen, when you're with the Marines, and the police officers," he said. "When they come over to you, it's very hard to say, 'Stay back. Stay back.' You know, it's a tough kind of a situation. It's a terrible thing."

"It is very, very hard when you are with people from the military or from law enforcement and they come over to you," Trump said. "They want to hug you, and they want to kiss you because we really have done a good job for them."

"You get close, and things happen," he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.

Get the best of our site emailed to you daily: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: