- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 28, 2020

Geraldo Rivera lumped praise on President Trump late Friday over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic by likening him to George S. Patton, the late U.S. Army general who commanded American troops during World War II.

Mr. Rivera, a former talk-show host and Fox News contributor admittedly friendly with Mr. Trump, drew parallels between the president and Patton in a social-media posting.

“Trump-haters clearly frustrated that the American people-many of whom did not vote for him-approve of the epic job @realDonaldTrump is doing to mitigate the #coronavirus catastrophe,” Mr. Rivera said on Twitter.

“He’s flamboyant & unrestrained, but he’s like General Patton, the right warrior for the fight,” Mr. Rivera tweeted.

Mr. Rivera, 76, made the comparison as the confirmed number of cases in the U.S. of COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus, continues to surge.

Discovered in China in late December, the first case of COVID-19 confirmed in the U.S. was reported on January 20. More than 100,000 domestic cases have been documented in the weeks since, including over 1,600 that resulted in death, according to data maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

Critics of the president have since pounced on his handling of the pandemic, which Mr. Trump repeatedly claimed in the past to be “under control.”

Mr. Rivera said earlier this year that he has been “friends of sorts” with Mr. Trump since 1976 and interviewed him dozens of times on his former talk show, “Geraldo”

“The thing about my advocacy, particularly for President Trump, is very personal,” he told Mediaite at the time.

Regarded by some as being among the greatest field commanders in U.S. military history, Patton served in the U.S. Army for nearly 40 years, including during both world wars. He died in 1945.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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