WASHINGTON — Texans were sending out prayers and jeers in equal measure after President Donald Trump announced he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19.
An artist from Gurukul art school paints a poster carrying a message for U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania in Mumbai, India, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. President Trump said early Friday that he and first lady Melania have tested positive for the coronavirus, a stunning announcement that plunges the country deeper into uncertainty just a month before the presidential election. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
“I hope this is a wake up call that this virus is not a hoax or something cured by injecting bleach,” Julián Castro, the former San Antonio mayor and U.S. Housing and Urban Development secretary, tweeted after wishing the president well. “We need a plan, not the same divisive, dangerous rhetoric.”
Travis County Republican Party Chairman Matt Mackowiak said the news was “a stark reminder that COVID remains very serious and that everyone should follow public health guidance, including wearing masks when unable to practice social distance.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Reps. Michael McCaul, a Republican, and Henry Cuellar, a Democrat, meanwhile, all tweeted that they were praying for the president.
“May God’s healing powers touch them, strengthen them, and raise them up,” Abbott tweeted.
Others joked about the news, given Trump’s history of downplaying the virus.
“How is this possible? Coronavirus disappeared in July when it got warm,” tweeted state Rep. Gene Wu, a Houston Democrat.
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro had a message for his colleagues in Congress: “To any members of Congress who were in close quarters with the President recently — please don’t come to work today.”
“That’s why we put in place proxy voting during this pandemic,” the San Antonio Democrat tweeted. “Sincerely, A Co-worker.”