Prayers, recriminations at vigil outside hospital
`Cold overnight, but we wanted to be here'
Jennifer Gilde brought a camp chair along with her to Walter Reed Hospital, where Donald Trump was being treated for coronavirus, so that she could stay outside overnight to show her support for the U.S. president.
Despite living just 40 minutes away, Gilde has been here, perched in her camp chair, since Saturday afternoon to share her well wishes for Trump, along with dozens of other supporters.
“It was cold overnight, but we wanted to be here,” she told The Daily Telegraph, adding that another friend had been sleeping here since Friday, when Trump was first transported to the military hospital just outside of Washington D.C.
“I think it's important to show our support — he's our president,” Gilde said.
“We really want to see him re- elected. This is a huge election for our nation so that's why I'm here.” Gilde was not optimistic that Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis would sway voters one way or the other.
“Everyone I talk to really has their mind made up,” she said, “so I'm hearing more of people wishing harm on him on the other side instead of having sympathy — although they should. That's basic human nature.
“I wouldn't want to see Biden get sick ... but it does seem like people have their mind made up.”
Others felt certain that Trump's illness would have an impact on his re-election campaign. “It's going to give more compassion to the president,” said Bill, a Maryland resident and navy veteran.
“People have more sympathy because he's gone through what they've gone through.”
Another supporter, David Stone, held a handmade sign reading “recovery zone,” and said he was hoping the president would draw strength from their display of support as he watched on from his nearby hospital room.
A steady stream of cars have been honking their horns as they pass the dozen or so supporters who have congregated with large music speakers, “Trump 2020” flags and handmade signs declaring their love for the president. The group
began gathering in earnest on Saturday night, when details about the seriousness of Trump's condition began to emerge.
One Maryland resident, who did not want to be named but said she had emigrated from China 30 years ago, said she had come to the hospital to share her “positive energy” with the president.
One senior Republican Party figure in the Maryland branch told The Telegraph that a message went out urging local supporters to come to the hospital and show their backing for the president. The figure, who asked not to be named, claimed that among the people who had gathered outside on Saturday night were Trump supporters from the states of Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, North Carolina and even Louisiana.
“It was amazing. People drove six, eight, 10 hours to come see him,” said the local party figure, who went down in person on Saturday to attend the gathering.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Republican supporters gathered outside Trump Tower in New York City Sunday, with a convoy of about 100 cars stopping traffic on 5th Avenue as they honked their horns and chanted “four more years.”
IT WAS AMAZING. PEOPLE DROVE SIX, EIGHT, 10 HOURS TO COME SEE HIM.