Trump says coronavirus gives him reason not to shake hands, adds he won’t shun supporters’ greetings

Trump says coronavirus gives him reason not to shake hands, adds he won’t shun supporters’ greetings

President Trump made light of his long-established reputation as a “germaphobe” Thursday, as medical experts warn against casual person-to-person contact due to the coronavirus outbreak.

During Thursday’s Fox News Town Hall in Scranton, Pa., “Special Report” anchor Bret Baier asked Trump what he thought about shaking hands with supporters and staff during the outbreak.


“I’m not thrilled,” Trump remarked after Baier noted the president was a “self-described germaphobe.” Trump added that he had always tried to avoid shaking hands, even as a young man.

“I always felt the concept wasn’t good,” he said. “You read a lot of medical reports [and] it’s not good now.”

“If there was ever a time that you could convince people not to shake hands this would be it,” Trump said before adding, “… I love the people of this country and you can be a politician and not shake hands and I’ll be shaking hands with people and [if] they want to say hello and hug you and kiss you, I don’t care.”

Trump also wasted little time during the forum in criticizing ex-rival Elizabeth Warren’s decision to drop out of the race after Super Tuesday, saying she may have sabotaged Bernie Sanders’ struggling presidential bid by siphoning the progressive vote.

“Bernie Sanders would have won five, six, seven states,” Trump remarked. “When you look at it, she did him no favors. That was not a good friendship. We started to see that during the debates, by the way. It became unhinged.”


Trump went on to argue that frontrunner Joe Biden had “damaged” by the impeachment process that implicated his son Hunter in apparent overseas corruption. “They aimed at Trump and they took Biden down,” the president said.

“Here’s a guy who didn’t have a job, unfortunately sadly the military was a very sad experience for him,” Trump added. “He goes out and gets $3 million, plus $183,000 a month to be a board member of a company that a lot of people said was corrupt.”

“Just as bad, China … His son walks out of China with a billion-and-a-half dollars for a fund.”

Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.

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