A friend and donor to President Donald Trump who the president had said was in a coma and seriously ill after becoming infected with the CCP virus has died.
Stanley I. Cheras death on April 11 was reported by The Real Deal, which covers the New York real estate industry. The publication cited unidentified sources who have worked with Crown Acquisitions, the firm Chera founded and ran. Chera was in his late 70s.
A White House official on Sunday confirmed Cheras identity and ties to the president. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to share details about Trumps personal friendships.
Trump had spoken at recent White House briefings about a friend who had fallen ill with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which has killed more than 20,600 Americans as of midday Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Trump first spoke about his friend on March 29 as he described the “viciousness” of the disease.
“I had a friend who went to a hospital the other day. Hes a little older, and hes heavy, but hes (a) tough person,” Trump said. “And he went to the hospital, and a day later, hes in a coma … hes not doing well.”
“The speed and the viciousness, especially if it gets the right person, its horrible. Its really horrible,” he said.
The president, who is 73, alluded a day later to having friends who were ill.
“I have some friends that are unbelievably sick,” Trump said. “We thought they were going in for a mild stay. And, in one case, hes unconscious—in a coma. And you say, How did that happen?”
Trump had left the impression that having personally known someone who became sick with COVID-19, the disease the CCP virus causes, had influenced his decisions about how to handle the outbreak.
But asked at a later briefing whether his friends case had marked a turning point in his thinking, Trump said it had not because he had been seeing the statistics and the rising case numbers.
“Hes sort of central casting for what were talking about, and it hit him very hard,” Trump said of Chera on April 1. “Ive never seen anything like it.”