The BBC has made an inventory of the most widespread speculations about Donald Trump’s illness.
Deliberate infection and duplicates
Republican supporters – some of them with hundreds of thousands of followers – have spread the rumor that the US president was intentionally infected with coronavirus last week when he arrived for the election debate with Biden.
Evidence of how the US president contracted the virus, however, points to the White House event on September 26, when Trump nominated Amy Coney Barret for the Supreme Court. According to a BBC analysis, at least 7 people sitting in the first three rows of seats – sitting next to each other – were confirmed positively.
Motorcyclists praying for Trump
A video featuring motorcyclists praying for Trump in front of Walter Reed Military Hospital in Washington has been shared more than 25,000 times on Twitter and has garnered more than 1.3 million views. However, the film, uploaded on TikTok on Friday, was made in South Africa, where a protest of motorcyclists against crimes committed on farms took place. The video was uploaded to TikTok on August 29th.
The secret oxygen tube
According to another rumor, distributed from the accounts of the supporters of the Democratic Party, the American president left the White House on Friday carrying a hidden oxygen tube. A photo of Trump at the window of the presidential helicopter would be proof of this, as Trump appears to be connected to a camera. It’s another thickening of the idea that Trump is actually more seriously ill than he’s officially acknowledged.
Trump did receive oxygen, which doctors recognized, but then his oxygen saturation remained within normal limits.
Other rumors are going in the opposite direction: Trump is just pretending to be sick to get more votes. An extreme version of the conspiracy theory is that of QAnon followers who think Trump is giving them a sign – he is not really sick, but he wants to trap the accomplices of parallel state pedophiles.
Trump makes money from COVID coins
False information has spread on social media that Trump is linked to a commemorative coin “Donald Trump defeats Covid” put up for sale by an online store called the White House Gift Shop.
People claim that Trump sells coins worth $ 100 to make money on his illness.
The BBC said in an investigation that the site had sold coins commemorating the COVID-19 epidemic, but they were not official.
President Harry S Truman opened the store in a White House basement in 1946, but later it was run by a private company that now owns the “White House souvenirs.”