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Imposing coronavirus lockdown unconstitutional: Trump

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Greenville (US):  Defending holding public events during the coronavirus pandemic, US President Donald Trump, who tested positive for COVID-19 early this month, has said that as a president he cannot remain locked in a basement and he has to meet people despite the risks.

Trump, responding to a question at a townhall organised by the NBC News, also defended not wearing a mask as much as his own administration’s public health experts recommend and said that lockdowns imposed by various states across the country to curb the coronavirus cases were “unconstitutional”.

He said he is not averse to wearing a mask, but “people with masks are catching it all the time.”

“As a president, I have to be out there. I can’t be in a basement. I can’t be locked in a very beautiful room someplace in the White House. And I want to see the gold star families, and I want to see everybody. And I also say to people all the time, it’s risky doing it. It is risky doing it,” Trump said.

Trump was tested positive for COVID-19 on October 1 and was admitted to a military hospital for three nights and four days. He declared himself cured after he was treated with an experimental antibody drug cocktail.

Trump was briefly forced to pause his re-election campaign after he tested positive for COVID-19 and he returned to the campaign trail from the battleground State of Florida on Monday. White House doctors have now cleared him for holding election rallies.

When the townhall moderator asked him why he is not wearing a mask, Trump said, “I can, but people with masks are catching it all the time. I mean, if you look at the Governor of Virginia, he was known for a mask. If you look at Thom Tillis, a great guy, he always had a mask, and they caught it.”

“You have to understand, as a president, I can’t be locked in a room for the next year and just stay and do nothing. And every time I go into a crowd, I was with the parents of our fallen heroes. These people are the most incredible people. And they came up to me and they would hug me, and they would touch me, and I’m not to not let them do it, to be honest with you,” he said.

Trump contested when the moderator said that as a leader he can set an example by wearing masks.

“But many people are catching it. Many people are getting this disease that was sent to us by China, and it should not have been allowed to happen. But many people are getting this. And I mean, nobody’s being blamed. Everybody is working hard to get this thing out of our country, get it out of the world,” he said.

Pointing that new infections have surged across Europe over recent weeks, Trump said, “They’ve done a very good job, but now you take a look today at the UK, you take a look at Spain and France and Italy. There is tremendous spike.”

Responding to another question, Trump  stressed that the lockdowns imposed by various states across the country to curb the coronavirus cases were “unconstitutional”.

“The fact is we’re winning all these cases because it’s unconstitutional what they’re doing. And I think they’re doing it for political reasons. But the fact is the cure, you can’t let this continue to go on with the lockdowns. And I believe that on November 4th, you’re going to have a lot of these governors,” he said at the Town Hall.

Earlier, addressing an election rally on Tuesday, Trump said that he felt like a “Superman” after his experimental COVID-19 treatment and boasted about his new immunity to the disease which has claimed the lives of 218,000 Americans.

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