Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Donald Trump’s ‘inherent vitality’ will see him through COVID-19 after the president and First Lady tested positive for the virus Thursday.
Putin wrote to Trump in a telegram Friday, pledging his support during ‘this difficult time’ and wishing him a speedy recovery.
‘I am certain that your inherent vitality, good spirits and optimism will help you cope with this dangerous virus,’ according to the Kremlin.
Russia’s ties with the US remain strained over many issues, from arms control to the conflict in Syria, as well as allegations of Russian interference in US politics -something Moscow strongly denies.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Donald Trump’s ‘inherent vitality’ will see him through COVID-19 after the president and First Lady tested positive for the virus Thursday
On social media, many Russians wished Trump well but others responded with derisive comments, or with jokes.
Some took the opportunity to highlight Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine.
‘Let’s treat him with the Russian vaccine and medication,’ wrote Alex Korolyov on the social media platform VK. ‘Then he will be our Trump.’
With hundreds of potential vaccines in various stages of development around the world, Russia was the first country to license its vaccine for public use and alongside China has been deploying the shots before full efficacy trials are complete.
Critics have said the Russian vaccine has not gone through enough trials to ensure its effectiveness and safety.
Sergei Vlasov, another VK user, wrote that Trump should be airlifted to Russia for treatment.
‘We need to urgently bring Trump to Moscow. We don’t trust American medicine, his life there is at risk,’ Vlasov wrote.
One Twitter user said Trump should be flown to the same Siberian hospital where doctors treated Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in August.
Trump walks on the South Lawn of the White House after returning from an event in Bedminster, New Jersey, Thursday evening
Hours later he confirmed he and Melania had tested positive for coronavirus
Navalny was poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent, according to German, French and Swedish laboratories.
Moscow denies this and says it has yet to see evidence of poisoning.
Alexander Gintsburg, head of the institute that produced Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, told RIA news agency he expected the United States to take proper care of its president but said other US officials should consider getting the Russian jab.
‘It would have been good to vaccinate him,’ Gintsburg said of Trump.
Several other world leaders sent their wishes to Trump Friday, including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who contracted the virus in March and spent time in ICU.
‘My best wishes to President Trump and the First Lady,’ tweeted Johnson.
‘Hope they both have a speedy recovery from coronavirus.’
Fears grew for Johnson when he tested positive for the virus in March and was admitted to hospital, being treated in an intensive care unit.
He recovered and has since blamed how ill he was on being overweight.
Trump is technically obese weighing 244lbs and 6ft 3 in height. He is also 74 years old which puts him at higher risk of serious complications from the virus.
Several other world leaders sent their wishes to Trump Friday, including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who contracted the virus in March and spent time in ICU
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu also tweeted that he was thinking about the US president and First Lady.
‘Like millions of Israelis, Sara and I are thinking of President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump,’ he tweeted.
President of the European Council Charles Michel also wished them a ‘speedy recovery’ and said it served as a reminder that COVID-19 is an ongoing ‘battle’.
‘Wishing @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS a speedy recovery. #COVIDー19 is a battle we all continue to fight. Everyday. No matter where we live,’ he tweeted.
Chinese officials also sent the nation’s best wishes to Trump and Melania.
Wishes also came in from Israel, China and the European Union
‘Saddened to learn #President and the #FirstLady of the #US tested positive. Hope they both have a speedy recovery and will be fine,’ tweeted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying.
The well-wishes from China come despite Trump repeatedly locking horns with President Xi Jinping over the pandemic, referring to the virus as ‘the China virus’ and accusing the nation of lying about the virus’s origins.
Trump and First Lady Melania Trump both have ‘mild symptoms’ but are said to be in ‘good spirits’ after testing positive for COVID-19 Thursday evening.
The announcement of their diagnosis in the early hours of Friday followed the news that the president’s top aide Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus after travelling with Trump multiple times over the last week.
With a busy presidential schedule, Trump and Hicks have come into contact with a number of other high-profile officials and members of the public in the last week. On Saturday he held an event to announce his nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg earlier this month (above)
Five attendees at Saturday’s Supreme Court nomination ceremony at the White House have now tested positive for the virus including Trump, Melania, Hicks, Utah Senator Mike Lee and Rev. John Jenkins, President of University of Notre Dame
With a busy presidential schedule, Trump and Hicks have come into contact with a number of other high-profile officials and members of the public in the last week.
In that time, Trump has traveled across seven states including New Jersey, Ohio, Florida, Minneapolis, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Georgia, as well as the DC.
He has taken part in three campaign rallies, has taken four round-trips on Air Force One and at least two flights on Marine One.
He also took part in the presidential debate against Democratic nominee Joe Biden, which he traveled to with at least 20 people.
He also held a number of press conferences – including to formally nominate his Supreme Court pick – and attended several fundraisers, including one just hours before his positive diagnosis was revealed.
Five attendees at Saturday’s Supreme Court nomination ceremony at the White House have now tested positive for the virus including Trump, Melania, Hicks, Utah Senator Mike Lee and Rev. John Jenkins, President of University of Notre Dame, sparking concerns this could have been a virus hotbed.
Now, there are questions about when White House staff learned Hicks had tested positive, when Trump learned about it and why, with that knowledge in mind, he still attended an event Thursday mixing with GOP donors at a fundraiser.