Donald Trump's stay at Walter Reed Medical Center has taken quite a few twists and turns in less than 24 hours. According to a report by Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman, Trump was against going to the hospital on Friday and reportedly argued with doctors over the decision. But once his symptoms started to worsen, reality allegedly set in and the president thought of former friend Stan Chera, the New York real-estate developer who died from the virus in April.
According to Vanity Fair, Trump experienced "heart palpitations" Friday night and became "visibly anxious" when his temperature spiked to 103 Fahrenheit before he was placed on oxygen at the White House. He then reportedly asked aides, "Am I going out like Stan Chera?"
Conversations w Republicans close to WH over last 12 hours indicate it’s been far more dire than WH has said. Before being taken to Walter Reed, Trump kept asking aides, “Am I going out like Stan Chera? Am I?” (Chera was Trump’s NYC friend who died of Covid in April)— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) October 3, 2020
According to the New York Times obituary, Chera was a longtime friend of Trump and were early backers of his presidential campaign. The president tweeted about the passing on April 13, giving his best to Chera's wife, who was also battling the virus at the time.
"My deepest sympathies go out to Frieda Chera and the family of the late, great, Stanley Chera, one of Manhattan's most brilliant real estate minds. Stanley was charitable, kind, and a wonderful friend. He will be truly missed!" Trump wrote on the platform. Chera was described as one of Trump's best friends by other major donors to Trump's campaign, supported by the president speaking publicly about Chera during a press briefing from The White House.
"I had a friend who went to a hospital the other day. He's a little older, and he's heavy, but he's a tough person," Trump said. "The speed and the viciousness, especially if it gets the right person, it's horrible." These words echo what Trump told Bob Woodward during their interview in February, though his public comments have been mixed.
Per source, Trump was told on Friday he could go to Walter Reed voluntarily, but he would be taken no matter what when his condition worsened. Doctors told Trump if he waited he could lose ability to walk to Marine One (optics of a wheelchair or stretcher obvs would be terrible)— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) October 3, 2020
When asked by Woodward earlier in the year about the prospects of him catching the virus, Trump maintained a more positive outlook than the reports from Friday would indicate. Trump told Woodward that he was not afraid at the time.
"I don't know why I'm not," he told Woodward in recordings of the interview, "I'm not." According to reports, those feelings would continue up to the Rose Garden event nominating Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, with no signs of social distancing and very few masks. At least nine have contracted the disease since the event, including Melania Trump, Hope Hicks, Chris Christie and Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien.