White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and two of its staff tested positive for COVID-19, just days after the president revealed a similar diagnosis. McEnany said she had tested positive “without feeling any symptoms.”
McEnany, who is one of 12 officials in a growing list of Trumpworld figures to test positive for the highly contagious virus after attending an event at the Rose Garden last Saturday, recently interacted with reporters on Sunday evening – and was without mask. Many media also reported that at least two other members of the White House press shop – Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt – have tested positive. Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship, who attended a prayer walk with Vice President Mike Pence and Franklin Graham before attending the Rose Garden ceremony, announced on Monday that he had also tested positive for the deadly virus.
“No journalist, producer or member of the press is listed as close contacts by the White House medical unit,” she said in the statement. “As a critical worker, I have worked diligently to provide the necessary information to the American people at this time. With my recent positive test, I will begin the quarantine process and continue to work remotely on behalf of the American people. “
Trump’s main aide Hope Hicks was confirmed on Thursday, just hours before the president himself announced that he and the first lady had also contracted him.
Although the press secretary interacts with Trump frequently, she did not travel with him to a fundraiser in New Jersey on Thursday after learning of Hicks’ positive COVID-19 diagnosis. McEnany, however, points out that she was unaware that Hicks tested positive when she spoke to reporters on Thursday and that she did not quarantine or self-isolate despite her contacts close with the White House adviser and the president.
“I definitely had no knowledge of Hope Hicks’ diagnosis until I held a White House press briefing on Thursday,” McEnany wrote on Monday.
McEnany, 32, appeared on Fox News on Friday and removed her mask to interact with reporters in the aisle of the White House. During his Sunday brawl with reporters, McEnany reportedly said the White House will not disclose the number of staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 due to privacy concerns. She also declined to provide a timeline of Trump’s recent testing schedule.
According to the White House Correspondents Association, at least three reporters who were in the White House last week have tested positive for the coronavirus.
“We wish Kayleigh, the President and all those fighting the virus a speedy recovery,” said Association of White House Correspondents said in a statement on Monday. “At this time, we are not aware of any additional cases among White House reporters, although we do know that some are awaiting results.”
Ben Williamson, Senior Communications Advisor at the White House, tweeted on Monday in defense of McEnany’s lack of mask, stating that during her last interaction with reporters, the press secretary “briefly removed her mask at the microphone to answer questions, was there for two questions and only 58 seconds (would not constitute contact ‘by the CDC), and was socially distant from journalists in the region.
Trump revealed early Friday morning that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, which has already killed nearly 210,000 Americans. A few hours later, he was transferred to Walter Reed Medical Center, where he is expected to leave on Monday after spending three days there.
“I will be leaving the large Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 p.m.,” Trump tweeted Monday afternoon. “I feel really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let him rule your life. We have developed very good medicine and knowledge under the Trump administration. I feel better than 20 years ago! “
The president and many members of his entourage have been spotted without a mask during recent election rallies, as well as at an event in the White House rose garden last weekend where Trump announced his Supreme Court candidate.
The spate of recent COVID-19 cases inside the White House has rocked those in attendance, according to ABC News. Multiple sources told the outlet that there was a “full-fledged panic” inside the White House after the diagnosis of McEnany and his two aides was announced on Monday – as staff members wait to see who will be the next person to contract the deadly virus.
McEnany’s diagnosis makes her one of 12 COVID-positive participants at the Rose Garden event for Supreme Court candidate Amy Coney Barrett, where few masks were seen on faces and many flouted guidelines social distancing with hugs and close seating. Those who attended and who have since tested positive include Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Utah Senator Mike Lee, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the president of the University of Notre Dame, the Reverend John Jenkins.
Photos from the rally show McEnany seated directly behind Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler, Senator Lee and Vice President Mike Pence. Gilmartin and Leavitt Also appears to have attended the Rose Garden event and posted photos expressing support for Barrett on Twitter.
“Justice Coney Barrett is a HIGHLY QUALIFIED candidate who will interpret the law as it stands. Congratulations!” Gilmartin tweeted. Leavitt, who appeared to be seated beside him at the ceremony, noted that the Trump candidate is “the first mother of school-aged children to be appointed to the highest court in the land!” History made and another glass ceiling shattered in the White House today!
Laurie, pastor of a mega-church in California, confirmed on Twitter On Monday he tested positive for COVID-19 last Friday and has since been in quarantine with his wife.
“I just wish that at a time like this we couldn’t politicize this and be compassionate to the people who are struggling with this. It is true. It truly is a pandemic that has swept through our nation and even the world, ”Laurie said in a video statement Monday. “If the President of the United States can get it, obviously anyone can get it.”
While the Rose Garden ceremony was held outdoors, which public health experts pointed out could help limit the spread of the deadly virus with good social distancing, there were also intimate gatherings. and without mask inside.
There is no confirmation that any of these participants contracted the virus in the rose garden, but the fact that so many tested positive within days begs the question whether this was a major event. diffusion.
White House spokesperson Brian Morgenstern challenged this theory Monday in a Fox News interview, insisting that Barrett’s ceremony could not be a “super-widespread” event as positive tests returned too many days later.
“People were kind of jumping to conclusions there,” Morgenstern said after falsely stating that COVID-19’s incubation period was 48 hours. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says symptoms of the coronavirus typically appear two to 14 days after exposure, and Trumpworld numbers that tested positive all got sick within that window.
Michael D. Shear, a New York Times reporter who believes he contracted COVID-19 at the White House or on Air Force One, said in an interview with CNN that he still had no contact with any official since his positive diagnosis – despite the insistence of the White House on the fact that “full contact tracing” was taking place.
“It’s now, you know, 10 days, 11 days, whatever, since I think I probably got infected this Saturday. I have not been contacted by the White House, ”Shear said in an interview with CNN, noting that he visited the White House last Saturday before catching a flight on the presidential plane. “No one from the White House said ‘boo’ and asked nothing about where I was, who I spoke to or who else I could have infected. I think it just shows that they don’t take it seriously, at least when it comes to themselves.
In April, McEnany resumed the role of press secretary after serving as a spokesperson for the Trump campaign. As the administration’s fourth press secretary, McEnany has been a strong supporter of the president’s response to COVID-19.
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