By: Kenyan Carter | News Editor
It doesn’t matter who you are, COVID doesn’t discriminate. Recently, the White House reported numerous positive coronavirus cases. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the virus, along with 20 people in Trump’s inner circle. Trump was hospitalized and treated for a few days at the Walter Reed military hospital.
The positive test’s timing shows that Trump and his staff members could’ve been contagious at the Sept. 29, presidential debate against former Vice President Joe Biden. Moderator of the debate, Chris Wallace, stated that Trump was not tested before the event and that both campaigns went by an “honor system.”
According to NBC news, every person testing positive was at the White House on Sept 26. for a confirmation party of Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Some of the infected include RNC chairwoman Ronna Mcdaniel, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien, and former counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway.
This superspreader event has also infected Senators Ron Johnson and Mike Lee, potentially delaying Barrett’s confirmation process if more GOP senators were exposed to the virus. However, Biden has tested negative six times for COVID since the debate, according to ABC news.
With the election less than a month away, Americans weighed in on their reaction to Trump’s diagnosis. According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, “65% including 9 in 10 registered Democrats and 5 in 10 registered Republicans, agreed that if President Trump had taken the coronavirus more seriously, he probably would not have been infected.”
The safety protocol for COVID in the White House has been lax. Despite daily testing, mask-wearing inside has been optional. A senior White House official said Friday that masks will still not be mandatory at the White House, describing them as “a personal choice.”