With the United States officially surpassing China and Italy for the most confirmed COVID-19 cases, there have been questions about President Donald Trump's continued response to this outbreak. It was recently revealed that the president had reached out to a figure that he was once at odds with in pursuit of input. Trump reportedly called up former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez.
According to John Santucci and Katherine Faulders of ABC News, Trump reached out to Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez during a week of meetings and phone calls. The discussion was reportedly pleasant, despite some heated tweets on Trump's end from years past. He reportedly did not ask them to take on an official role during the outbreak. He was instead searching for Rodriguez and Lopez's thoughts about the response to the coronavirus thus far.
During marathon day of meetings earlier this week, President Trump continued outreach across the country regarding coronavirus & phoned former Yankees baseball player Alex Rodriguez. Multiple sources tell ABC, the president spoke to ARod from the Oval Office via me & @KFaulders— John Santucci (@Santucci) March 28, 2020
"Trump phoned former Yankees baseball player Alex Rodriguez this week seeking help from him and his fiancé Jennifer Lopez on the coronavirus response, multiple sources tell me & @Santucci," Faulders tweeted on Friday. She and Santucci both clarified that the president had not brought up any official roles.
"It's well known that athlete/singer couples are key elements of critical technical and logistical responses to pandemic outbreaks," one Twitter user wrote after hearing about this reported phone call. Many others were very confused about why Trump was discussing these matters with athletes and called for him to focus on medical experts.
Trump has since responded to the report by ABC News. He retweeted Santucci, along with the text "More Fake News!"
One cause of the surprise on Friday was that Trump had taken to Twitter in 2013 and used a series of tweets to call out Rodriguez for being "a druggie." He wrote that the former Yankee had "disgraced the blessed Yankees organization, lied to the fans and embarrassed New York City" after Rodriguez admitted to using steroids.
The two have since reportedly been on good terms, and they were even spotted together in 2015 at Trump Golf Links in the Bronx. Both Trump and Rodriguez were in attendance for an event put on by Hank Steinbrenner, the brother of Yankees principal owner Hal Steinbrenner. Rodriguez even said that the golf course looks "like another masterpiece."
(Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images (Trump); Manny Hernandez/Getty Images (Rodriguez)