President Donald Trump, a self-described germaphobe, can’t seem to stop shaking hands — even in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic.
Trump was surrounded by several retail and health care industry executives on Friday as he announced he was declaring the virus outbreak a national emergency.
One by one, the president invited them to the lectern at the Rose Garden press conference to say a few words. He also shook several of their hands.
Public health officials have told Americans to avoid handshakes, as a key social distancing measure, to try to limit the spread of the virus.
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But Trump, who acknowledges he tried to avoid shaking hands before jumping into politics, now seems to have a hard time not putting his hand out for a greeting.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon appeared to be moving away from Trump after saying a few words. But then Trump put out his hand for a handshake and McMillon obliged.
Walgreens President Richard Ashworth and Trump shared a hearty handshake before he walked away. Thomas Moriarty, executive vice president at CVS Health, also gave the president a handshake.
Bruce Greenstein, executive vice president and chief strategy and innovation officer at in-home healthcare services company LHC Group, threw the president for a curve.
He extended his forearm for an elbow bump. Trump initially stuck out his hand but then shifted to accommodate.
“Okay, I like that,” Trump said. “That’s good.”
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