Trump Threatens to Kiss Men in Audience At Florida Rally to Show He's Healed of COVID

During a Monday evening rally speech in Sanford, Florida, President Donald Trump said that despite his recent COVID-19 hospitalization, he now felt recovered enough to walk into the audience and kiss the men and others in the audience.

Trump also made several other eyebrow-raising claims, like saying that Mexico will pay for the southern border wall by essentially installing a toll gate at the border.

But the awkward one was his claim that he would kiss folks just one week after being released from Walter Reed hospital for his COVID-19 diagnosis.

"I went through it," Trump said, referring to his coronavirus infection. "Now they say I'm immune... I feel so powerful. I'll walk into that audience. I'll walk in there, I'll kiss everyone in that audience: I'll kiss the guys and the beautiful women and everybody — I'll just give you a big fat kiss."

The American nonprofit academic medical center, The Mayo Clinic, has said that kissing can transmit coronavirus through a person's respiratory droplets.

Like most of Trump's rallies, almost all the attendees of the Sanford rally didn't wear face masks or practice social distancing.

During the speech, Trump also claimed that his much-promised border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, a staple among his 2016 campaign promises, would be finished in a "few more months," adding, "and by the way, Mexico is paying, they hate to say it. Mexico is paying for it."

"The President of Mexico has been great," Trump added. "We're putting a border tax on for cars and trucks to go across it. It'll much more than pay for our wall."

Trump has floated the idea before, as recently as last August, though no legislation or orders for such a toll gate have emerged nor have any comments verifying such an agreement from the Mexican government.

Nearly 73 million personal vehicles entered the U.S. from Mexico in 2019, according to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, nearly 200,000 a day. If Trump installed a toll gate, it'd also add a tax to American citizens with dual-Mexican citizenship who live in Mexico but work in the United States, according to Reuters.

Trump Florida rally speech kiss men Biden
During his October 12 speech in Sanford, Florida, Republican President Donald Trump said he felt good enough to walk into the crowd and kiss the male and female attendees. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty

During his 2016 election campaign, Trump called for 1,000 miles of new wall to be built. In 2018, he dropped that number to 600 to 500, according to Bloomberg News. As of August, Trump has built 30 miles of barriers on the border where none had existed before, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He has also repaired 245 miles of pre-existing primary and secondary barriers along the border.

Roughly $5 billion in wall funding has come through the Customs and Border Protection budget and Trump re-directed an additional $10 billion from the Defense Department for it, but Mexico hasn't yet paid a cent for any of the construction.

Both former Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and current President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrado have said repeatedly that their country won't be paying for any of the wall.

Newsweek contacted the Trump campaign for comment.