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Trump falsely tells rally he and other coronavirus survivors are now immune: 'Look at that handsome guy, I'd kiss him'

Trump’s claims about Covid-19 immunity have previously been flagged by Twitter as misinformation

Stuti Mishra
Wednesday 14 October 2020 09:47 BST
'Look at that handsome guy I'd kiss him': Trump falsely tells crowd he and other covid survivors are now immune
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Donald Trump repeated his claim of being “immune” after recovering from coronavirus on Tuesday night, again telling a rally that he can now kiss any member of the audience.

Speaking to a large crowd of supporters at an airport in Pennsylvania, Mr Trump singled out a member of the audience and said: “Look at that guy, how handsome he is. And I'll kiss him - not with a lot of enjoyment, but that's okay.”

On the topic of his Covid-19 recovery, Mr Trump asked the audience who among them had been infected with the virus so far, before claiming that they all, like him, were now “immune”. 

"To everyone fighting to recover from the virus, I feel your pain because I've felt your pain," he told the crowd, most of whom had no masks and were not practising social distancing.

It was the second of six planned rallies for this week. At his first since his recovery, in Florida on Monday, Mr Trump also played down the severity of the pandemic and spoke about kissing members of the crowd.  “I will kiss everyone in that audience, I will kiss the guys and the beautiful women, I will give you a big fat kiss,” he said.

Mr Trump had equally made claims about immunity at his Florida rally, part of his campaign’s attempts to convince the American public of his successful recovery and management of the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected almost eight million in the US and led to more than 216,000 deaths.

But his claims of immunity, made without any evidence, ended up receiving strong criticism and a flag from Twitter for sharing misleading information about the virus.

Experts say that even though it is believed a person who has recovered from coronavirus will have developed antibodies, there are no guarantees on how long these provide protection from reinfection.  

Mr Trump’s repeated claims of immunity came as the US had just confirmed its first case of reinfection with Covid-19, in a young man with no pre-existing medical conditions, and for whom the symptoms were more severe the second time round.  

Critics have accused the Trump campaign, and the president himself, of not doing enough to encourage supporters and staff to take precautions during public gatherings.

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