NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A Brooklyn landlord who waived his tenants’ April rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic was asked to speak during President Donald Trump’s National Day of Prayer Ceremony on Thursday.
Williamsburg resident Mario Salerno canceled rent for all of his tenants at the end of March, saying he was more concerned about their health than his own income, Greenpointers.com first reported.
Trump on Thursday asked Salerno to share some remarks during a prayer ceremony at the White House, calling the landlord’s actions “fantastic.”
“I got to see you on television, actually," Trump said to Salerno. "I said, ‘What kind of a landlord is that?’ That’s a great landlord, right? That’s very nice.”
“He wanted to make sure that they could put food on the table, and he wanted to take care of their families. Even though he’s losing a lot of income, which he could always use, we could always use it, right Mario? But that was a big thing. Mario says that’s irrelevant compared to the value of human life. Fantastic thing, Mario,” Trump added. “As Mario puts it, faith is a lot more powerful than fear. That’s true.”
After Trump asked Salerno to step up to a nearby podium and speak, the landlord said he was “honored" by the president's invitation.
“On this special day of prayer, I have nothing written. I just want to thank the good Lord. Every morning when I wake up… I ask the good Lord, 'Please, conquer this vicious virus. He’s making us all stumble,'” Salerno said. “And besides me praying to the good Lord, I pray for our dear president, and I tell God, 'Please, give him the strength and the power, because he’s not only our leader of the great United States — the whole world is following this gentleman.'”
“And I can’t say anything else, but let’s please pray for this wonderful man — fate before fear,” he added. “Mr. President, I’m honored to be here and I pray for you every day.”
The president thanked Salerno for his remarks after he spoke.
“That’s really nice. I appreciate it. And by the way, I love your tie, but I love your words even more,” Trump said.
The New York Times last month reported that Salerno waived rent for all of his approximately 200 to 300 tenants, “likely forgoing hundreds of thousands of dollars in income.”