California Candidate For Congress Says He Hopes Trump and Biden Both Die From COVID

A California congress hopeful has described how he hopes both President Donald Trump and former Vice president Joe Biden die from COVID-19 after the president was confirmed to have contracted the virus.

Steve Cox, an Independent candidate running in California's 39th District, has sent several tweets doubling down on his remarks, even complaining of being misquoted in a post detailing examples of high-profile names hoping the president and first lady die from COVID-19.

"By 'I hope they both die' I was talking about Trump and Biden. Not Melania. She seems nice," Cox wrote in response to the tweet from Twitter user @zwetchkenstiel. "You quoted me out of context. Shame."

Trump and Biden shared the stage during the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday evening. Biden has not tested positive for the coronavirus.

In a series of other tweets, Cox states he has no sympathy for the president and blames him for the more than 200,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19.

"To be clear, if this were year 1 of his presidency, I wouldn't because Pence is far worse," Cox wrote. "But it's over now, so... Yes, the guy who let hundreds of thousands of Americans die without even a second thought? Yeah, he can go now. And take Biden with him."

In another tweet he wrote: "I definitely am happy he has COVID. I hope Biden has it, too. Why should I care about people who don't care about us?"

While calling another Twitter user an "ignorant t**t," and reiterating that he does not wish the first lady to die, but only Trump and Biden, Cox added: "They both allow thousands of people to die needlessly so they can continue taking bribes from big business."

Cox is an outsider for the California district also contested by Democrat rep. Gil Cisneros and Republican Young Kim. Cox achieved just under 5 percent of the vote in the primary election in March.

Newsweek has contacted Cox for further comment.

Trump confirmed he and the first lady had contracted the virus hours after tweeting that Hope Hicks, one of his most senior advisers, had also tested positive for the virus.

"We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!" Trump tweeted.

Hicks had traveled with Trump on Air Force One to attend Tuesday's presidential debate in Cleveland.

Trump's entourage, including members of his own family, were seen not wearing masks at the debate, where the president mocked Biden for frequently covering his face during public appearances.

Hicks had also accompanied Trump on a trip to Minnesota where the president held a large rally in which thousands of people in attendance did not wear masks.

In a statement, Trump's physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said: "The president and first lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.

"The White House medical team and I will maintain a vigilant watch, and I appreciate the support provided by some of our country's greatest medical professionals and institutions.

"Rest assured I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering."

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This combination of pictures created on September 29, shows President Donald Trump and Democratic Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. SAUL LOEB,JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty