Donald Trump visited one his own private golf courses in Virginia on Saturday as America continued to see fallout from a rapid surge in coronavirus cases and a day after the US president said he would stay in Washington DC to “make sure law and order is enforced” amid ongoing anti-racism protests.
The US president has been frequently criticized for the scale of his golfing habit while in office. CNN – which tallies his golfing activities – said the visit to the Trump National course in Loudon county, just outside Washington DC, was Trump’s 271st of his presidency – putting him at an average of golfing once every 4.6 days since he’s been in office. His predecessor, Barack Obama, golfed 333 rounds over the two terms of his presidency, according to NBC.
The visit comes as the number of confirmed new coronavirus cases per day in the US hit an all-time high of 40,000, according to figures released by Johns Hopkins on Friday. Many states are now seeing spikes in the virus with Texas, Florida and Arizona especially badly hit after they reopened their economies – a policy they are now pausing or reversing.
Trump has been roundly criticized for a failure to lead during the coronavirus that has seen America become by far the worst hit country in the world. Critics in particular point to his failure to wear a mask, holding campaign rallies in coronavirus hot spots and touting baseless conspiracy theories about cures, such as using bleach.
On Friday night Trump tweeted that he was cancelling a weekend trip to his Bedminster, New Jersey golf course because of the protests which have rocked the capital, including taking down statues of confederate figures.
“I was going to go to Bedminster, New Jersey, this weekend, but wanted to stay in Washington, D.C. to make sure LAW & ORDER is enforced. The arsonists, anarchists, looters, and agitators have been largely stopped,” he tweeted.
Trump’s latest visit to the golf course was not without criticism. According to a White House pool media report: “A small group of protesters at the entrance to the club held signs that included, ‘Trump Makes Me Sick’ and ‘Dump Trump’.
A woman walking a small white dog nearby also gave the motorcade a middle finger salute.”
It is not yet known if Trump actually played a round of golf. But a photographer captured the president wearing a white polo shirt and a red cap, which is among his common golfing attire.