President Donald Trump apparently reached out to more in the sports world than just Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady this week while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump spoke with former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez on the phone this week from the Oval Office, according to ABC News’ John Santucci.
Trump was seeking Rodriguez’s thoughts on his response to the coronavirus, and had a “pleasant” conversation, per the report.
During marathon day of meetings earlier this week, President Trump continued outreach across the country regarding coronavirus & phoned former Yankees baseball player Alex Rodriguez. Multiple sources tell ABC, the president spoke to ARod from the Oval Office via me & @KFaulders
— John Santucci (@Santucci) March 28, 2020
There were more than 100,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of Friday night, according to The New York Times, the most among any country in the world, and more than 44,600 cases in New York alone.
The news comes just one day after Trump managed to bring up Brady during a coronavirus briefing, although it wasn’t exactly clear why he did.
“After a meeting with the world leaders, I spoke with the governors of our 50 states and territories,” Trump said Thursday. “Our team has been in constant communication with the governors, and we had a terrific meeting.
“Somebody in the fake news said that one of the governors said ‘oh we need Tom Brady.’ I said ‘yeah.’ He meant that in a positive way. He said ‘we need Tom Brady. We’re gonna do great.’ And he meant it very positively. But they took it differently. They think Tom Brady should be leading the effort. That’s only fake news. And I like Tom Brady. Spoke to him the other day. He’s a great guy.”
It’s likely that Trump was attempting to get back at Washington Gov. Jay Inslee by invoking Brady at the briefing. Inslee was quoted in a Washington Post story on Thursday morning as saying, “We need a Tom Brady” while pleading for more dramatic action from the president and for more medical supplies for his state amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump has had a tumultuous relationship with Rodriguez, and has slammed him publicly multiple times in the past. He called Rodriguez a “bad guy” in an Entertainment Tonight interview in 2013, and once predicted that Rodriguez “will go down as the biggest sports embarrassment of all time.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2013
What Trump gained from his call with Rodriguez — or why he’s even calling the ESPN analyst who has zero medical background — amid the global crisis is a mystery.
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