President Donald Trump said on Thursday that his COVID-19 diagnosis could be due to Gold Star family members who reportedly stood too close to him at a Sept. 27 event that honored families of fallen U.S. service members. In a bonkers interview on Fox Business Thursday morning, the president said that Gold Star families would tell him stories about their loved ones’ and would “come within an inch” of his face. “They want to hug me, and they want to kiss me. And they do. And, frankly, I’m not telling them to back up. I’m not doing it,” Trump said. “Give me room. I want room. Give me 12 feet. Stay 12 feet away when you talk.”
But following the Sept. 27 event—which didn’t feature many masks and came a day after the super-spreader Rose Garden event for Amy Coney Barrett—The Daily Beast reported that the White House quietly warned the veterans group about potential exposure to the virus. Multiple attendees at the Rose Garden event on Sept. 26 have since tested positive for COVID-19.