WASHINGTON (AP) – It was considered a scene of celebration.
Instead, the Trump campaign’s election night watch party in the White House East Room has become a symbol of President Donald Trump’s indifferent attitude to a virus that is spreading across the country and infects more than 100,000 people a day Used to be.
The vote suggested that the president’s attitude to the re-think bid was a serious drag as voters chose to deny Trump a second term in favor of his Democratic rival, now President-Elect Joe Biden. And the party – which has few masks and no social disturbances – has now become the latest top under additional scrutiny after the President’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows The White House official contracted the virus, which has now killed more than 237,000 people in the US alone.
The White House has repeatedly denied saying who tested positive, even spreading the virus. Officials said the latest White House cluster, which comes exactly one month after Trump’s own diagnosis and hospitalization, includes a top Trump campaign official and a handful of undeclared officers.
The White House has been increasingly secretive about outbreaks. Several White House and campaign officials, as well as those who joined the election watch party, were kept in the dark about the diagnosis until they were revealed by the press.
The virus will continue to spread to the White House – even though senior employees and those who come in close contact with the president and vice president are often tested – no surprise to public health officials, who remain trapped in the gag of the White House Gone are the approaches.
“The administration was cavalier about the risks of the virus to itself and the country. And that’s one reason why we have so many cases, “Dr. Said Joshua Scharfstein, a public health professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.
Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that he has been avoiding the White House since August, because my impression was that how to handle it was different from mine and I insisted that we Work in the Senate, which has to wear a mask. And practice social distance, ”
Meadows in particular has tried to reduce the severity of the virus. He rarely wore a mask in public, except in the period immediately after Trump’s transition. At one point, he refused to talk to reporters on Capitol Hill, as he requested that he wear a mask.
He was again without one during Tuesday evening’s East Room event, where more than 100 of Trump’s most loyal supporters gathered to watch the election results and deliver what he hoped would be a victory speech. Will happen.
It was a festive atmosphere, with cocktail tables in front of news cameras with half-empty glasses of wine and other beverages. Meadows, who spent time with Trump’s family, was seen working in the room, including giving a handful of those in attendance, before Trump took the stage on Wednesday morning.
While everyone participating in the East Room program had already been tested for the virus, there was no social disturbance and minimal wearing of masks.
Before that day, Meadow also accompanied the president to his campaign headquarters in Virginia, where Trump encouraged several dozen employees and volunteers. Meadows wore neither a mask, nor other White House staff. The campaign’s allies did extensively.
If Medovis tested positive on Wednesday – as Bloomberg News reported – he would likely be contagious during both events, said Saskia Popescu, an epidemiologist who teaches at George Mason University.
Meadows attended dozens of rallies with Trump until Election Day, where he was often seen interacting with supporters without masks.
Trump’s refusal to follow his own government’s public health guidelines during the campaign was a major source of frustration for local governments, as he determined after the rally in defiance of the local cap on crowd size, even That even in hot areas with pandemics.
While Trump had hoped for his efforts to reduce the virus in a bid to revive a limited economy that would help him with voters, many Republicans now believe that Trump probably won because he pushed things aside Was handled in a way.
Nevertheless, Trump’s approach reflected his supporters’ priorities. The AP Votecast of a national poll of voters found that nearly half of Trump’s voters called the economy and jobs the top issue facing the nation, and only 1 in 10 Biden voters. Most Biden voters, Meanwhile – around 6 in 10 – said the epidemic was the country’s most important issue.
The White House did not respond to specific questions about the current outbreak, but said contact tracing was done by the White House Medical Unit, which is in line with the Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines.
The White House stated, “Appropriate notifications and recommendations have been made.”
The CDC defines “close contact” as spending at least 15 minutes within 6 feet of an infected person beginning two days before testing positive or performance symptoms.
But Popescu called the party, in particular, “a ripe environment for transmission,” and said that anyone in attendance should be informed and cautioned.
“While they may not meet the CDC guidelines for exposure, I think that when we’re watching an indoor event with a lot of people who are unmasked for a long period, with an abundance of caution, everyone Should be informed and encouraged to stay. Home, ”she said.
“Now is not the time to be cavalier about the risks,” Scharfstein said.
Ohio Pastor Darrell Scott, a close aide to the president who joined the party, said he was unaware of any White House officials who tested positive beyond Meadows until he was informed by a reporter Was.
While Scott, like many in Trump’s class, continued to insist for the fraud that was blamed for the loss of the president – despite having no credible evidence supporting those claims – he called several “unpredictable” during the campaign Blamed Trump for “errors”, the way Virus talked about this.
“We can’t be upset if we shoot ourselves in the leg,” he said.
The latest outbreak came less than two weeks after several of Vice President Mike Pence’s aides, including his chief, tested positive for the virus. And it came a month before Trump, first lady Melania Trump and at least two dozen others tested positive after Trump, with a large number of people not wearing facemasks, including the ceremony that featured Judge Amy Cooney in the Supreme Court Announcement of Bart’s nomination was also included.
Associated Press authors Zeke Miller and Kevin Freaking contributed to this report.