President Donald Trump is campaigning in Texas without a face mask on Wednesday as the state has seen its coronavirus cases surge and he again defended a doctor who touted hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the deadly disease.
Trump arrived in Midland, Texas, without a mask even as most of the state officials greeting him wore one, including Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Former Energy Secretary Rick Perry wore a face covering but removed it when the president got to him.
Also on the tarmac were two teenagers – both wearing masks – who had the president sign football helmets. Nearby Odessa, Texas, where the president held a posh fundraiser, is the setting of the famous book on high school football ‘Friday Night Lights.’
Many of the guests lined up to go into the fundraiser were not wearing face masks.
President Donald Trump is campaigning in Texas without a face mask on Wednesday as coronavirus cases spike in the state
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas greets President Trump while wearing a face mask
Former Energy Secretary Rick Perry removed his mask to greet President Trump
President Trump signed football helmets for two teenagers upon his arrival
There are 406,746 coronavirus cases in Texas, including 6,049 deaths. Gov. Abbott has walked back the state’s reopening process due to the spike in infections. Texas was one of the first states to begin the process of reopening its economy.
A Republican House candidate, Wesley Hunt, wrote on Twitter he was in route to Midland to meet Trump when he was informed he tested positive for the coronavirus and headed back for Houston.
‘I remain asymptomatic and feel in perfect health. I have taken all the necessary steps to prevent myself from contracting and transmitting the virus,’ he wrote.
‘I will be quarantining and ask that everyone continue to follow the CDC, state and local government guidelines in battling COVID-19. Together, we will beat this,’ he added.
Trump, meanwhile, also continued to defend a controversial doctor, Stella Immanuel, who has pushed hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the coronavirus.
Immanuel has a long history of conspiracy theories and she has also claimed that gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches and that alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments.
‘I was very impressed with her and other doctors that stood with her,’ Trump said Wednesday before leaving the White House for Texas.
Trump criticized social media companies for labeling her comments misinformation and removing the video that featured her. Trump had retweeted video of her that Twitter removed.
‘I was very impressed by her. I know nothing about her, I had never seen her before, but certainly you could put her up and let her have a voice. So what they did is they took down their voice. Now, they seem to never take down the other side. They only take down conservative voices,’ he said.
‘And with hydroxy, all I want to do is save lives,’ Trump added.
In May the World Health Organization stopped its hydroxychloroquine trial. The National Institutes for Health similarly halted their trial in June after determining it provided ‘no benefit’ in the patients studied.
Trump admitted in May he was on a two week course of the drug as part of a regime to combat the coroanvirus.
And Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said ‘Hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of coronavirus disease or Covid-19.’
‘The scientific data, the cumulative data on trials, clinical trials that were valid, namely, clinical trials that were randomized and controlled in the proper way, all of those trials show consistently that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of coronavirus disease or Covid-19,’ Fauci told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC Wednesday afternoon.
He also criticized online videos that tout incorrect information about the virus.
So, when there’s a video out there from a bunch of people spouting something that isn’t true, the only recourse you have is to be very, very clear in presenting the scientific data that essentially contradicts that,’ he said.
Ahead of Trump’s trip, Texas Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert, who frequently walks around the U.S. Capitol without wearing a face mask, tested positive for the coronavirus.
He was scheduled to travel with President Trump from Washington D.C. on Air Force One. His positive test came when he was tested at the White House ahead of the travel.
The White House tests individuals who will interact with the president by taking a sample using a nasal swab and then running it through an Abbott Laboratories point-of-care test, which can deliver results in less than 15 minutes.
Trump, on Wednesday, will also visit Midland, the birthplace of former first lady Laura Bush and the one-time home of Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, marking his 16th visit to the Lone Star State as president.
Many of the officials greeting President Trump in Texas wore face masks
Texas Republican Chairman Allen West, a former congressman, did not wear a face mask to greet President Trump
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas traveled with President Trump and wore a face mask
Rep. Louis Gohmert, who is regularly seen on Capitol Hill not wearing a mask, tested positive for the coronavirus after screened at the White House so he could travel to Texas with President Trump; Gohmert did not make the trip
President Trump continued to defend Dr. Stella Immanuel, who has a long history of promoting conspiracy theories and who claims hydroxy cures coronavirus
Trump will tour the Double Eagle Energy oil rig in Midland, the place where George H.W. Bush moved to after college to make his fortune in the oil fields.
The president had originally balked at wearing a face mask, saying it was a personal choice and arguing he wasn’t a high risk for spreading the virus since he is tested for it regularly. He skipped wearing a mask at stops in Maine and Arizona. He was photographed back stage wearing one at a Ford factory visit in Michigan but had removed it when he went before the cameras.
Trump finally wore one openly in public when he visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Medical Center on July 11 and he wore one on Monday when he toured a biofactory in North Carolina.
Earlier this month, he urged people to wear one.
‘I have reminded people of the importance of masks when you can’t socially distance, in particular,’ he said during a press briefing at the White House.
‘Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact,’ he noted.
Trump’s visit to Texas also demonstrates the need for the president to solidify his support in a state that was firmly in his column in the last election. And it indicates his campaign is taking nothing for granted in a contest that has Biden leading in national polls.
Trump carried Texas by 9 points in the 2016 contest but the RealClearPolitics polling average of the state has the contest there essentially tied – a worrying sign for Republicans as Democrats have pushed to turn the state blue.
And Democrat Beto O’Rourke fired up the party’s dreams when he came close to knocking off Republican Senator Ted Cruz in 2018, losing by only 2 points.
But Republicans in the state are confident Texas will be red in November, pointing out the high cost of campaigning in Texas with its large size and its more than 20 media markets, many of which are expensive.
‘I am still an doubtful Texas will be a quote/unquote ‘battleground state.’ If it’s truly competitive Biden is going win 400 to 450 electoral votes which I don’t think is likely to happen,’ Matt Mackowiak, a Republican strategist based in Texas, told DailyMail.com.
President Trump will also visit Midland Texas, which is Bush country: Laura Bush was born there and George W. Bush lived there with his parents for years when George H.W. Bush worked in the oil industry
Masked man: Donald Trump was photographed wearing a mask in public for only the second time as he toured a pharmaceutical plant in Morrissville, North Carolina, on Monday
President Donald Trump, foreground left, wears a face mask as he walks with military officials during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11
The Biden campaign has to weigh carefully where to spend its campaign cash. Money spent in Texas could easily be spread to several other Trump states that have become competitive this year, such as Arizona and Georgia.
Team Biden has indicated it’s not sure it will contest the state.
‘Texas is 22 [expletive] media markets,’ a Biden adviser told The Washington Post. ‘That is never going to happen. It’s just not going to happen. Everyone knows that. I don’t know why people are still even talking about it.’
Meet Trump’s new favorite doctor, Dr Stella Immanuel, a homophobic preacher who uses ‘alien DNA’ as a cure, blames witchcraft for illness and says hydroxychloroquine can stop Covid 19
A Texas-based doctor whose declarations about using hydroxychloroquine to cure COVID-19 were retweeted by Donald Trump has a long history of supporting conspiracy theories, it has emerged.
Dr Stella Immanuel, 55, shot to fame on Monday when the president retweeted a video featuring her appearing in Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress.
In the video – which has since been removed by Facebook, YouTube and Twitter – she promotes the discredited coronavirus remedy, hydroxychloroquine.
She attacked ‘fake doctors’ who doubt the efficacy of the drug, and claimed it’s a ‘cure’, adding ‘you don’t need a mask.’
‘If some fake science comes out and says we’ve done studies and they found out that it doesn’t work, I can tell you categorically it’s fake science,’ she said.
‘I want to know who’s conducted that study and who’s behind it. Because there is no way I have treat 350 patients and counting and nobody is dead.’
She said she has treated patients with hydroxychloroquine along with zinc, and the antibiotic zithromax.
Donald Trump Jr was also impressed by her speech, noting on Twitter that it was ‘a must-watch’.
Immanuel, who runs the Fire Power Ministries in a strip mall next door to her clinic in Houston, was born in Cameroon and did her medical training in Nigeria, The Daily Beast reported.
On her Facebook page she describes herself as: ‘Physician, Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Deliverance Minister, God’s battle axe and weapon of war.’
The church’s ‘beliefs’ section on their website – which has now been taken down – says they are against ‘unmarried couples living together, homosexuality, bestiality, polygamy, etc.,’ Heavy reported.
Stella Immanuel has run the Fire Power Ministries in Houston, Texas, since 2002
One sentence in the profile reads: ‘Her attitude toward demonic forces has been described as cut-throat, a warrior to the core.’
Immanuel is also a ‘wealth transfer coach’ and believes ‘you can be saved, anointed, fire brand and wealthy too.’
A mother of three daughters, Immanuel reportedly studied medicine in Nigeria between 1984 and 1990.
In November 1998, Immanuel began working as a pediatrician in Alexandria, Louisiana.
She has been a physician at the Rehoboth Medical Center in Katy, just west of Houston, Texas, since October 2019.
She received a medical license in Texas eight months ago, in November, according to state records.
A Nigerian website, PM News, reported that Immanuel did a residency in pediatrics at Bronx-Lebanon in New York. It was unclear when.
She then interned under Dr. Babatunde Dosu, a Dallas-based Nigerian pediatrician.
It also stated that she holds medical licenses in Texas, Louisiana and Kentucky.
Immanuel founded the church in 2002 and has given sermons attacking progressive values and promoting conspiracy theories including ‘the gay agenda, secular humanism, Illuminati and the demonic New World Order.’
She has claimed that gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches.
She alleges alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, saying: ‘They’re using all kinds of DNA, even alien DNA, to treat people.’
In a 2015 sermon she declared that the Illuminati are promoting a plan hatched by ‘a witch’ to destroy the world using abortion, gay marriage, and children’s toys.
Immanuel claims the Magic 8-Ball toy is in fact a scheme to get children used to witchcraft. ‘The 8-Ball was a psychic,’ she said.
Immanuel describes herself on Facebook as: ‘Physician, Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Deliverance Minister, God’s battle axe and weapon of war.’
‘There are people that are ruling this nation that are not even human,’ Immanuel said, before launching into a conversation she had with a ‘reptilian spirit’ she described as ‘half-human, half-ET.’
In another 2015 sermon she said scientists had plans to install microchips in people, and develop a ‘vaccine’ to make it impossible to become religious.
‘They found the gene in somebody’s mind that makes you religious, so they can vaccinate against it,’ Immanuel said.
Immanuel warned that the Disney Channel show Hannah Montana was a gateway to evil, because its character had an ‘alter ego.’ She has claimed that schools teach children to meditate so they can ‘meet with demons.’
She also urges that ‘children need to be whipped’.
The doctor warned her flock that gay marriage meant that ‘very soon people are going to be seeking to marry children’.
She accused gay Americans of practicing ‘homosexual terrorism’ and praised a father’s decision to not love his transgender son after a gender transition.
‘You know the crazy part?’ Immanuel said.
‘The little girl demands he must love her anyway. Really? You will not get it from me, I’d be like ‘Little girl, when you come back to be a little girl again, but you talk—for now, I’m gone.”