WASHINGTON – After declaring a national emergency to combat the coronavirus outbreak, President Donald Trump shook hands with a series of corporate executives after they each made remarks at the White House podium – despite repeated advice from his own public health experts against such contact.
Only one company official, Bruce Greenstein of the home healthcare provider LHC Group, moved his hand away from Trump’s outstretched hand and offered an elbow instead.
“I like that. That’s good,” Trump said a bit awkwardly after elbow-bumping Greenstein.
Trump had already shaken hands with officials from CVS, Walmart and other companies at the Rose Garden event. The executives each talked at the lectern after Trump about what their companies are doing to help the White House with a national response to the highly contagious virus.
Trump and other speakers also repeatedly touched the microphone and the lectern as they spoke.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised Americans to avoid shaking hands with other people, as well as to avoid “high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails,” etc.