A White House official says that there is no plan to carry out contact tracing with the guests who attended the Rode Garden ceremony Saturday September 26th to present Amy Coney Barrett as Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court seat vacated by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This news comes despite the fact that the ceremony may have been a ‘superspreader’ event, with a significant number of guests testing positive for COVID-19 after attending.
According to the New York Times, the White House will only notify those who are known to have come into close contact with Donald Trump in the 48 hours before his official diagnosis. This could still be quite a few people, as the president attended a fundraising event and a rally in that time.
However, there are other notable omissions from the list — the New Jersey Department of Health reportedly received a guest list for the Bedminster fundraising event, for example, but the only contact information given was email addresses, and the staff that worked during the event isn’t mentioned at all.
As of Saturday, NPR was reporting that at least 8 people who had attended the event had tested positive for COVID-19, including Trump, Melania, Chris Christie, Senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis, and Kellyanne Conway. By Monday afternoon, that count had risen to at least 11, according to ABC, as Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and two of her deputies were added to the count.
According to the Washington Post, experts had already stated that contact tracing for such a large event — with over 150 attendees — would be extremely difficult. Accounts of the event differ, with some saying that guests were told they could remove their masks after a negative test, and others saying that they were not given tests at all.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com