2 Attendees Of AIPAC Conference — Where Two-Thirds Of Congress Also Attended — Test Positive For Coronavirus
Thousands of attendees of an event put on by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) have apparently been exposed to coronavirus, after it was announced that two attendees at the event tested positive for the disease on Friday evening.
AIPAC sent out a tweet revealing the diagnoses were made.
“We have confirmed that at least two Policy Conference attendees from New York have tested positive for the coronavirus,” they wrote in their social media post.
Guidance from health professionals “continues to be that all conference participants should follow CDC guidelines and consult their health care providers if they feel ill or have medical questions,” the message also read.
Important Update: Coronavirus
— AIPAC (@AIPAC) March 6, 2020
AIPAC puts on one of the highest-attended political conferences each year. According to Ryan Grim, D.C. bureau chief for The Intercept, more than 18,000 were in attendance at the event — including two-thirds of lawmakers from Congress.
“On Tuesday, thousands of conference-goers visited Hill offices,” Grim added.
AIPAC confirms that two conference attendees have now tested positive for coronavirus. I reported 2 days ago this was likely. There were 18,000 people there, including 2/3rds of Congress. On Tuesday, thousands of conference goers visited Hill offices. https://t.co/pWeQQx2Gp0
— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) March 6, 2020
Due to confidentiality requirements, it’s not clear whether the two individuals who tested positive for coronavirus had any direct contact with speakers, other conference-goers, or the lawmakers who attended the event. The fact that there is a chance at all, however, is demonstrative of how fast COVID-19 has spread so far in the U.S. in just a few short weeks.
As of Friday evening, at least 300 individuals in the United States had tested positive for the disease. The number of people who have died from coronavirus so far sits at around 15, according to reporting from the New York Times. Those numbers do not include totals from a cruise ship off the coast of California, where 21 additional individuals have also tested positive.
Everyone on board that ship is set to be tested shortly, the Times reported.
At a news conference last week, in spite of health officials warning that more cases would be identified, Trump said that “within a couple of days” the number of coronavirus cases “is going to be down to close to zero.”
Featured image credit: U.S. Department of State/Flickr