Trump wondered if he was “going out” like Jewish businessman friend who died of COVID-19 by the Forward

Trump wondered if he was “going out” like Jewish businessman friend who died of COVID-19

Donald Trump wondered on his way to Walter Reed Medical Center Friday whether he was “going out” like a Syrian-Jewish businessman friend who died of COVID-19 in April.

The question highlights the likely severity of Trump’s case of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, even as he has sought to project strength to his supporters over the weekend.

“Am I going out like Stan Chera?” the president reportedly asked his aide.

Stanley Chera, a close friend of President Donald Trump, was a Brooklyn born Syrian-Jewish real estate developer and philanthropist, who owned several high-end Manhattan properties, such as the St. Regis New York Hotel. His death from COVID-19 in April has been credited with making the pandemic real to the president.

“He’s sort of a tough guy. A little older, a little heavier than he’d like to be, frankly. And you call up the next day: ‘How’s he doing?’ And he’s in a coma? This is not the flu,” President Donald Trump said shortly before Chera’s death.

In August, Trump held a fundraiser at Chera’s home, where he was praised by the late real estate developer’s son, Haim Chera.

“Your sincerity and care for my father I will never forget,” Haim Chera said to Trump. “You told me he was a real friend to you, and that you knew Stanley was an authentic friend, with no agenda other than to support you.”

Before his death, Stanley Chera had donated more than half a million dollars to the president’s election and re-election campaigns.


David Ian Klein

David Ian Klein

David Ian Klein covers breaking news and international Jewish communities for the Forward. You can reach him at and on Twitter @davidianklein.

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Trump wondered if he was “going out” like Jewish businessman friend who died of COVID-19

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