The Slatest

Trump Plays Golf While Coronavirus Cases Surge

The Trump International Golf Club entrance
The Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Feb. 19, 2017. Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

Around the world, leaders and health authorities were struggling to try to get a handle on the rapidly spreading coronavirus. But in the United States, President Donald Trump seems to have thought it would be a great time to hit the links with professional baseball players. On Sunday, the commander in chief played golf with current and former Washington Nationals players at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.

The White House doesn’t normally release details about the president’s golf outings, but on Sunday, pitcher Patrick Corbin posted a series of photos on his Instagram of the game with the president. “So this happened today,” he wrote. “Got to golf with the President!” Others who took part in the outing included first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, catcher Kurt Suzuki, shortstop Trea Turner, and former outfielder Jayson Werth, according to the Hill.

It also wasn’t the first time Trump went to the golf club over the weekend. On Saturday, he spent several hours at his West Palm Beach club. On Saturday night he told a reporter he wasn’t “concerned at all” that the virus appeared to be getting closer to the White House. The president then went to a birthday party for former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is dating Donald Trump Jr., at Mar-a-Lago. Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the government’s response to the coronavirus, was also in attendance.

By the Washington Post’s estimate, Trump has played around 217 rounds of golf as president and has visited one of his golf clubs on around 250 days. More broadly, Trump has visited one of his properties “a little less regularly than once out of every three days of his presidency,” notes the Washington Post. “In other words, for every week he has been president, he has spent, on average, at least part of two days at one of his properties.”

Trump repeatedly criticized Barack Obama, claiming the then-president played golf instead of dealing with some of the critical issues facing the country at the time. And in 2014, Trump criticized Obama for golfing during the Ebola outbreak.