Mitch McConnell admits he hasn’t been inside the White House in months for safety reasons

Mitch McConnell; Donald Trump; Covid Memorial Project
Mitch McConnell; Donald Trump; Covid Memorial Project

Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump and the Covid Memorial Project Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

With President Donald Trump and many of his Republican allies in the White House having been infected with COVID-19, many of his critics are warning that setting foot inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue could be a health threat. But one needn’t be a Trump critic to feel that way. None other than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has, in essence, admitted that he hasn’t been inside the White House in two months because of the lack of social distancing precautions.

“I haven’t actually been to the White House since August the 6th,” McConnell said. “Because my impression was that their approach to how to handle this is different from mine and what I suggested that we do in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing.”

The remarks came at an event in Kentucky, streamed on Facebook.

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It was a striking admission, given that President Donald Trump has faced withering criticism for his failure to handle the pandemic in the United States, which has now killed more than 210,000 people. Critics have argued that the recent outbreak of cases at the White House, affecting many top officials including the president himself and which may have centered around the ceremony celebrating the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Other prominent Republicans who have recently tested positive for COVID-19, in addition to Trump, include long-time adviser Kellyanne Conway, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Senior Adviser Stephen Miller, Bill Stepien (Trump’s campaign director), Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, among others.

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White House Spokesperson Alyssa Farah Admits Dr. Sean Conley Lied to Make Trump Feel Better on Fox News

White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah faced some unexpectedly tough questions about President Donald Trump’s medical condition during an interview on Fox News Sunday afternoon. And in the process, she admitted that the president’s physician Dr. Sean Conley deliberately misled the American people to make his patient feel better.

Fox anchor Trace Gallagher highlighted the “confusion” and “mixed messaging coming from the White House and coming from the doctors,” asking Farah, “Why hasn’t the White House come out and just cleared the deck, cleared up all this stuff and said, you know, this is the way it is, here’s what happened and kind of given everybody a tick-tock of what happened from the beginning when he was confirmed with coronavirus until today?”

Farah said the administration was “striving to be as transparent” as they can and claimed Dr. Conley’s comments have been “accurate” throughout. But as Gallagher pointed out, the confusion has more to do with the information Conley has “omitted” from his briefings.

“And even today, he kind of came out and he acknowledged, well, he was doing that because he was trying to put on a brave face,” the anchor said.

In his latest comments to the press, the doctor said, “I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president over the course of his illness, has had,” adding, “I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction, and in doing so, you know, it came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true.”

“It’s a very common medical practice that you want to convey confidence,” Farah claimed. “And you want to raise the spirits of the person you are treating. I know this president. I don’t know that he needs his spirits raised but I think it’s actually a very common medical practice to do that.”

“But is it also a common medical practice to put the proper information out there, put all the information out there, and to let people make up their own minds?” Gallagher shot back.

After brushing that question aside, Farah pivoted to boast about how hard the president is supposedly working through his illness from Walter Reed hospital.

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Ohio Students Hosting Large House Party Admits to Police They ‘All’ Tested Positive for COVID

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, students from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio threw a house party during Labor Day weekend which ignored school and city rules requiring masks, social distancing and gatherings no larger than 10 people.

A photo illustration of a policeman questioning a young person at a house.

© kzenon/Getty
A photo illustration of a policeman questioning a young person at a house.

When police arrived at the house on Saturday at 4:05 p.m., they discovered seven young men sitting on the porch, drinking and listening to music without masks. A total of 20 people were at the gathering. One house resident confirmed to police that he had recently tested positive for COVID-19.

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When asked whether he was supposed to be in quarantine, the student responded, “Yeah, that’s why I’m at my house,” and then claimed that everyone else in attendance had tested positive for COVID-19 as well.

“That’s what we’re trying to prevent,” the officer told the student. “We want to keep this town open. You’re not quarantining if you’re mixing with other people.”

Although students in the house began to leave as soon as police arrived, police ended up fining six men—five house residents and one visitor—$500 each for violating city ordinances forbidding gatherings of more than 10 people, a precaution to prevent a possible COVID-19 outbreak.

One of the residents fined by police claimed that the party guests simply showed up without being invited, but the police officer declined to discuss that claim further calling it “an argument for another day.”

Miami University officials told CBS News that any students found violating city COVID-19 ordinances could face disciplinary action under the Code of Student Conduct, including possible suspension or dismissal.

According to, more than 1,000 Miami University students have tested positive for COVID-19 during the past two weeks. The school will resume in-person classes on September 21 with roughly 40 percent of the school’s nearly 20,000 students learning remotely online.

Newsweek contacted Miami University for comment.

Other universities have struggled to keep students from partying in defiance of rules meant to prevent coronavirus epidemics.

In late August, Ohio State University issued 228 interim suspensions for individuals and student organizations who attended or hosted large parties and gatherings in the university district.

Around the same time, Florida State University police arrested and charged seven students associated with the disbanded Alpha Tau Omega fraternity for hosting an “open house party.”

On September 10, Illinois State University said it was considering consequences for students who attended a 200-person “pop-up” party hosted by The Nelk Boys, a group of college-aged pranksters with nearly 5.7 million YouTube followers.

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White House Denies Trump Downplayed Covid Even Though He Admits It on Tape

“I wanted to always play (coronavirus) down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic,” Donald Trump admitted to journalist Bob Woodward in a March 19 interview that was taped.

a close up of a woman wearing a blue shirt: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC on September 9, 2020.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC on September 9, 2020.

Despite that admission, revealed Wednesday along with other excerpts and tapes from Woodward’s 18 interviews with the president since December, the White House claims Trump never downplayed the disease.

“The president never downplayed the virus,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Wednesday.

Referencing a stack of detailed notes and timelines, McEnany set out to refute the damning admissions contained in Woodward’s forthcoming book, Rage.

“The president has never lied to the American public on Covid,” she said.

According to Woodward’s book and recorded conversations made public Wednesday, Trump knew that the virus was highly-contagious and deadly—even before the United States had reported a single Covid-19-related death.

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“This is deadly stuff,” Trump told Woodward on February 7.

Three days later at a campaign rally in New Hampshire, Trump told his supporters, “I think it’s going to all work out fine,” and suggested that it would “go away” by April.

McEnany described Trump’s efforts as trying to keep Americans calm.

“He makes clear he doesn’t want to see chaos,” she said. “This president does what good leaders do.”

But health officials have scrutinized the Trump administration’s slow response to the virus—it was slow to warn people fully about the dangers, frequently compared it to a seasonal flu, and didn’t encourage preventive measures like mask-wearing until months after Trump’s first admission to Woodward.

“No one is lying to the American people,” McEnany said, when asked about the president’s frequent claim. “One day Covid will go away…. that is a fact.”

Woodward writes in his book, which CNN and the Washington Post acquired copies of along with tapes ahead of its September 15 release, that national security adviser Robert O’Brien gave Trump a “jarring” warning about the virus during a January 28 intelligence briefing. He warned Trump it would be the “biggest national security threat” of his presidency.

“Hopefully, everything’s going to be great,” Trump told supporters at an Iowa rally two days later. “They (China) have somewhat of a problem, but hopefully, it’s all going to be great.”

McEnany stood by the president’s response before cutting off the briefing after about 25 minutes.

“The president was expressing calm,” she said. “The president was hopeful.”

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