A Minnesota news site, Star Tribune-owned City Pages, published an article on Friday titled "Let's laugh at these very good 'Trump has COVID' tweets." The news site has since taken down the story.
"Regarding my blog post and the subsequent blowback, I would simply like to quote the president: ‘Every time I speak of the haters and losers I do so with great love and affection. They cannot help the fact that they were born f----d up!," Editor-in-Chief Emily Cassel said in a statement.
An archived version of the article reveals the tweets to which editor-in-chief Emily Cassel said, "[S]ome blue-check liberals out there are saying it's not cool or noble or taking the high road to joke about Trump getting coronavirus, and to them we say: Biiiig fart noise. Let's laugh at some tweets!"
"So President Trump and the First Lady have COVID. Man, anyone else just in a really, inexplicably good mood this morning," Cassel said in the article.
Publisher Mary Erickson said the article was "insensitive and in bad taste."
"While it is in the spirit of alt-weekly journalism to provoke and to push boundaries, in this case we went too far," Erickson said. "We apologize to our readers and to our advertisers, and wish President and Mrs. Trump a safe and speedy recovery."
Some of the tweets from the article included the following:
Schadenfreude means "pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune."
The women in the video are saying, "We've been waiting for you all summer, and we're so glad you're finally here." The video was not originally made in reference to President Trump's coronavirus diagnosis.
The woman in the video is saying, "Supposed to feel sorry for that [expletive]; I don't." This video was not originally made in reference to Trump.
In another tweet that has since been removed for violation of Twitter Rules, one Twitter user said, "I think I speak for everyone when I say that it would be insanely funny if he died of the coronavirus."
"It's sad to see a major newspaper implicitly endorse these vile and hateful sentiments," Trump campaign spokesperson Jacob Schneider said.