The coronavirus pandemic has claimed a friend of the president. Stanley Chera, a New York City real estate developer and Republican donor, has died of COVID-19 complications, a source told CNN on Sunday. Chera co-founded Crown Acquisitions, which in 2008 made a deal with Jared Kushner's company. Last year, introducing President Trump at New York City's Veteran's Day Parade, he said the president was a "dear friend." And Trump returned the compliment last year at a rally, calling Chera "a great guy and he's been with me from the beginning." Chera donated more than $400,000 to funds supporting Trump between 2016 and 2019.
Sources say that when Trump last month described a friend who had fallen into a coma while struggling with the coronavirus, he was speaking of Chera, who was in his late 70s. "We thought they were going in for a mild stay, and in one case, he's unconscious, in a coma," Trump said at the time. "And you say, how did that happen?" Trump has not spoken out on Chera's death, but a White House official anonymously confirmed the death and Chera's links to Trump to Politico. Chera, who owned such well-known NYC properties as the Cartier Mansion, was also a well-known philanthropist, co-founding Brooklyn's nonprofit Sephardic Community Center. (Read more coronavirus stories.)