U.S. President Donald Trump said his attorney Rudy Giuliani, who has been leading efforts to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 general election, has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Trump wished the 76-year-old former New York mayor well in a tweet on Sunday, saying “we will carry on!!!”
Giuliani’s contracting the virus is the latest setback for the president’s effort to cling to power by asserting without evidence that the election was riven with fraud. Courts around the country have thrown out the claims by Trump and his allies, who are seeking to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.
Since the election, the former New York City mayor has repeatedly appeared at news conferences, before lawmakers and in other settings without a mask or practicing social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.
Giuliani took the leading role in the president’s post-election effort after David Bossie, an outside adviser to Trump who was leading his post-election fight, was sidelined with the virus days after the election. Trump had tapped Bossie after Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was diagnosed with the virus.
Trump himself was hospitalized with COVID-19 in October, interrupting his re-election campaign. The president entered Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Oct. 2 after announcing that he and first lady Melania Trump had been diagnosed. He was released three days later.
Giuliani and his representatives didn’t immediately respond to calls seeking comment.
Giuliani has been a key force in spearheading Trump’s claims of a widespread and implausible election fraud to benefit President-elect Biden, whose victory has been certified by states comprising more than the required 270 Electoral College votes. Undaunted, Trump on Sunday again tweeted his unsubstantiated claim that he won the presidential vote.
Giuliani, who was mayor of New York from 1994 to 2001, has become the butt of late night comedians’ jokes over both style and substance.
Soon after networks called the race for Biden, Giuliani appeared outside a Philadelphia landscaping company, nestled between a crematorium and an adult film store, to declare that the president wouldn’t concede.
He was ridiculed for a later appearance at a Nov. 19 news conference to highlight his fraud allegations as a dark liquid — possibly hair coloring — dripped down his face. Giuliani and his colleagues alleged that Republican poll watchers weren’t allowed to observe vote-counting in Philadelphia and Detroit and that U.S. voting machines made by Dominion Voting Systems Inc. used software made in Venezuela at the direction of Hugo Chavez. Chavez, who served as that country’s president, died in 2013.
Hours before Trump’s announcement on Twitter, Giuliani talked at length about the president’s election-result challenges in an interview on Fox News. Giuliani’s son Andrew, who is a White House aide, said on Nov. 20 that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was following “all appropriate protocols.”
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