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A friend who Donald Trump alluded to when detailing his experiences with Covid-19 has died from the virus. The Real Deal, which covers the New York real estate industry, identified the man as Stanley I Chera when it reported his death on Saturday. Chera’s identity was then confirmed to the Associated Press by a White House official. Chera was in his late 70s and involved in the real estate business and had donated money to the Trump campaign.
The president mentioned Chera, but did not identify him, when he spoke about the effects of Covid-19 on 29 March. “I had a friend who went to a hospital the other day. He’s a little older, and he’s heavy, but he’s [a] tough person,” Trump said. “And he went to the hospital, and a day later, he’s in a coma … he’s not doing well … The speed and the viciousness, especially if it gets the right person, it’s horrible. It’s really horrible.”
The Associated Press spoke to a New York cab driver as part of a project to gauge the effect of the pandemic on the nation’s workers. Nicolae Hent has been a cab driver in the city since 1988 and said he no longer bothers heading to JFK airport for lucrative fares as there are almost no passengers. He said on a good day he used to be able to earn $300 but the figure is more like $100 since the start of the lockdown.
He said the best places to look for a fare are hospitals. “That’s where the customers are now,” Hent told AP last week. “Hospital workers, nurses, doctors, and where there are stores for food.”