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The Trump campaign is inviting people to dine with the president during the coronavirus pandemic

During the coronavirus outbreak, the Trump campaign is promoting a contest where donors can win a dinner and photo op with the president.

The Trump campaign is inviting people to dine with the president during the coronavirus pandemic
[Photo: Shealah Craighead/The White House/Flickr]
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During the coronavirus pandemic, medical experts and officials are promoting what they call “social distancing,” encouraging people to avoid handshakes, large gatherings, and other opportunities for the virus to spread.

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At the same time, the Donald J. Trump campaign is promoting an ongoing contest to win the opportunity to have dinner and pose for a photo with the president.

“This is Pres. Trump & I want to invite you to dinner!” reads a text message from the campaign I received this afternoon. “We’ll even take a photo together, friend. Just donate $35 in the next HOUR to WIN.”

The Trump campaign didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry from Fast Company about whether the contest (which you can also enter without making a donation) will be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. It’s quite possible the text message was scheduled before the virus became such a concern.

The campaign also, according to the official rules, has considerable latitude to disqualify would-be winners based on background checks and to set the dates for any dinners with Trump.

“Sponsor will choose, in its sole discretion, the airline, hotel, flight dates, flight times, and airport and other Trip logistics and details,” according to the rules.

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Trump met and posed for a photo last weekend with Brazilian officials including President Jair Bolsonaro and his communications director Fábio Wajngarten, and Wajngarten has since tested positive for the virus. So far, the White House has said Trump isn’t going to be quarantined or tested.

About the author

Steven Melendez is an independent journalist living in New Orleans.

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