Trump Says All His Friends Leaving 'Sad Place' New York City Due to COVID Lockdowns

President Donald Trump railed against the coronavirus pandemic lockdown measures being enforced in his hometown of New York City, claiming the country's largest metropolis is now a "ghost town."

Trump defended his nonchalant attitude toward social-distancing measures prior to contracting COVID-19, telling Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo that it's impossible for people to hide from the virus. The president officially moved his residence from NYC to Florida last November, publicly criticizing the state's Democratic Party leaders as part of the reason why he was fleeing his hometown. Trump this week said the lockdown measures in the city—in the state with the most pandemic deaths—have turned it into a "sad, sad place."

The president said the fact he contracted the coronavirus shows that no average American can possibly avoid it entirely, claiming that New York residents who "locked down the most" were actually more likely to catch the virus.

"No matter how good the security, you're not going to protect yourself from this thing with just your standard anything, unless you just literally don't come out—and even those people found out—did you see that in New York City the most heavily locked down place where people caught it the most were the people caught in their houses and their apartments, okay?" Trump told Bartiromo Thursday.

"It's a shame what has happened to New York, it's like a ghost town. It's like a sad, sad place, New York. I have friends there, they're all leaving," the president said of his native city, where he was born in the borough of Queens in 1946 and still maintains several residences and properties.

New York has gone to hell. Vote Trump!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2020

Bartiromo told Trump she was "glad you brought up New York," noting Governor Andrew Cuomo's announcement earlier this week that the city will be on lockdown until November 3, "not November 2, November 3," which is Election Day. Trump claimed on Twitter Monday that "New York has gone to hell. Vote Trump!"

Trump replied, "They are trying to hurt the economy as much as possible, the Democrats, they want November 3, because this way they figure it will hurt the economy a little bit better. My numbers won't be as good, but actually our numbers are going to be great."

Trump ridiculed Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio in November 2019, as he announced his official move down to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, which many said was a political tactic heading into the election year.

"I love New York, but New York can never be great again under the current leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo (the brother of Fredo), or Mayor Bill DeBlasio. Cuomo has weaponized the prosecutors to do his dirty work (and to keep him out of jams), a reason some don't want to be in New York, and another reason they are leaving. Taxes and energy costs are way too high. NYC is getting dirty & unsafe again..." Trump wrote.

The president's 2020 re-election campaign has honed in on criticisms of America's largest cities, a majority of which are led by Democratic mayors and lawmakers. In a "law and order" rally pitch to Blacks and Latinos Saturday at the White House, Trump said Democrats have been destroying urban centers for "100 years" and called for minorities to embrace law enforcement officers.

Also on Sunday's show, the president called Regeneron's antibody cocktail "a gift from heaven" which allowed him to recover from COVID-19 quickly. "I had a case, I got it knocked out." He downplayed accusations that he is contagious, as numerous media reports have suggested, and noted that even at campaign rallies "I stand by myself, very far from everyone." Trump said he would not consider attending any campaign rallies if he knew he was contagious. On Saturday evening White House physician Sean P. Conley announced the president "is no longer considered a transmission risk to others."

"You catch this thing, a lot of people caught it," Trump said, highlighting how Virginia Governor Ralph Northam caught coronavirus last month despite wearing a mask at every public event.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for any additional remarks Sunday morning.

trump new york city lockdown
Donald Trump, president of the Trump Organization, displays a picture of the New York City skyline showing his Trump World Tower (R) near the United Nations as he testifies before the Federal Financial Management, Government Information, and International Security Subcommittee Capitol Hill July 21, 2005 in Washington, DC. The hearing was held on the topic of "U.S. Financial Involvement in Renovation of UN Headquarters." JOE RAEDLE / Staff/Getty Images