White House will not perform contact tracing for Rose Garden event – report
The White House will not perform contact tracing for attendees of the Rose Garden event celebrating the supreme court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, despite confirmed infections of at least 11 attendees, according to a new report by the New York Times.
The Rose Garden ceremony for Barrett has drawn scrutiny as a potential “super-spreader” event. Attendees neither wore masks nor practiced social distancing. Attendees who subsequently tested positive for Covid include Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Kellyanne Conway, Senator Mike Lee, Senator Thom Tillis, Reverand John Jenkins, Chris Christie and Kayleigh McEnany.
According to the Times, the CDC was prepared to perform contact tracing for the White House, but was not asked. Instead, the White House Medical Unit said it would handle the effort, but has chosen to focus only on events within a 48-hour window of Trump’s diagnosis.
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White House Blocks New Coronavirus Vaccine Guidelines – report
In case you missed it:
Donald Trump’s top spokesperson, Kayleigh McEnany, announced she had tested positive for coronavirus on Monday, in yet another escalation of a rampaging outbreak that hospitalized the president and threw the White House into disarray – even as Trump announced he was leaving hospital:
The president still has an active coronavirus infection that is contagious to others. According to CDC guidelines, he should remain in isolation until at least 10 days after his diagnosis, which occurred on Friday.
By removing his mask, Trump is most likely endangering those who work at the White House.
On Monday, the CDC updated its coronavirus guidance to make clear that the disease can spread more than six feet through the air, especially in enclosed spaces.
Wearing a face mask is not a precaution for Trump, who has already contracted Covid-19, but for those around him. The president has an active case of the potentially deadly disease, which is highly contagious. Already numerous White House staffers and members of the White House press corps have been infected in the outbreak that has spread through the president’s inner circle since last week.
Today it was reported that two housekeeping staff at the White House have also tested positive for the disease.
The desperation that has driven Donald Trump to leave hospital prematurely – while still talking down the threat of a disease that has killed 210,000 Americans and turned the White House into a Covid hotspot – gives some measure of how dangerous the next four weeks will be.
Many students of Trump’s life and career have warned that he would be prepared to sacrifice anyone – even those closest to him – to spare himself the humiliation of a one-term presidency, but even they surely could not have anticipated how literal that sacrifice would be.
It involved creating a culture in the White House in which the wearing of masks were scoffed at, and seen as a sign of disloyalty, the worst sin in the Trump court. It produced a toxic workplace to the point of potential lethality: