A megachurch pastor who attended the Rose Garden event has tested positive.

The California megachurch pastor Greg Laurie is the latest prominent attendee at the Sept. 26 Supreme Court nomination ceremony at the White House to test positive for the coronavirus. He announced the test results Monday and said he was in isolation.

“If the president of the United States can get it, obviously anybody can get it,” Mr. Laurie said in a video posted on social media. In an interview with Christianity Today, Mr. Laurie said he was not sure he was infected at the Rose Garden event, and urged Americans not to blame the White House for his infection.

“Unfortunately, the coronavirus has become very politicized,” he said. “I wish we could all set aside our partisan ideas and pull together to do everything we can to defeat this virus and bring our nation back.”

Mr. Laurie was one of many high-profile Christian leaders who attended the ceremony. Another — the Rev. John I. Jenkins, the president of the University of Notre Dame —  announced on Friday that he tested positive.

Several of the attendees have since preached in person at church services or have been photographed at other public events, suggesting that they are not following C.D.C. recommendations for quarantine after their exposure in the Rose Garden.

Jerry Prevo, the acting president of Liberty University, announced on Friday that he and his wife had both tested negative. He posted photographs the next day in which he and his wife are seen mingling closely indoors with people not wearing masks.

A representative for Robert Morris, a Dallas-area megachurch pastor who preached in person last weekend, said on Monday that he “does not have any Covid-related symptoms,” but he declined to say whether he had been tested.

Another Dallas-area pastor, Jack Graham, also preached in person at his church on Sunday morning. “I am ridiculously healthy,” he told his congregation, who responded with applause. “I don’t have Covid, let’s just put it that way.” A spokeswoman for Mr. Graham said that he has been tested twice since the Rose Garden event and that both tests have been negative. The spokeswoman said he has consulted with his personal physician about his activities since the event, but declined to offer information on the timing of his tests.

Mr. Graham said during the service that he flew to Atlanta last Wednesday to meet with Vice President Mike Pence, who spoke at an indoor event hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition that was attended by some of the same evangelical leaders. A spokeswoman for the group’s head, Ralph Reed, said he tested negative on Wednesday before the vice president’s arrival. The spokeswoman said seating at the event was arranged in consultation with local health officials, and that attendees were encouraged to wear masks.

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California pastor who attended White House Rose Garden event says he has COVID-19

Prominent Riverside pastor Greg Laurie has tested positive for COVID-19, he announced Monday, the latest person tied to an outbreak at the White House.

The pastor of the megachurch Harvest Christian Fellowship was an attendee at the Rose Garden on Sept. 26 when President Donald Trump announced the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. At least 11 attendees of the large gathering – at which there was no social distancing and few people wore masks – have since tested positive for the virus, including the president and first lady Melania Trump.

Laurie, who tested positive Friday, has since quarantined and has experienced fatigue, aches, a fever and a loss of taste, which he described as a Romans 8:28 moment. The biblical Scripture verse states: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

“I wish at a time like this we could not politicize something like this,” Laurie said in a video announcing his diagnosis. “It’s real.”

“If the president of the United States can get it, obviously anyone can get it,” said the pastor, whose wife, Cathy, is also quarantining with him. Laurie said his immediate family members have tested negative.

On Palm Sunday in April, Trump said he was going to tune into Laurie’s service, which typically draws 15,000 to his church in Riverside. Laurie, who also operates the massive annual Harvest Crusade event at Angel Stadium, gave his sermon without an audience amid concerns over the spreading coronavirus but filmed a greeting for “a very special guest.”

While some pastors have defied stay-at-home orders, Laurie has urged people to be careful and stay safe.

“Because, look, you could be a young person, and you could get COVID-19, maybe not even be aware of it, and then pass it on to Grandma without even realizing it,” he said at the April service. “Let’s respect one another. Let’s care about one another.”

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At least 8 people who attended a White House Rose Garden event for Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination have tested positive for COVID-19



a group of people sitting on a bench in a park: President Donald Trump and Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden at the White House on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Alex Brandon/AP Photo


© Alex Brandon/AP Photo
President Donald Trump and Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden at the White House on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Alex Brandon/AP Photo

  • At least eight people who attended an event on September 26 where President Donald Trump announced his Supreme Court pick have since tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • Trump announced that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the virus on Friday. 
  • At least 150 people attended the event last week.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump announced Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee on Saturday at an event with 150 attendees. 

Almost a week later on Friday, Trump announced that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19. Now the event has come under some scrutiny, as at least eight attendees have tested positive for the virus this week.

It’s unclear if the Rose Garden gathering qualifies as a super-spreader event, or how or when those who contracted COVID-19 got the virus — whether at the event or elsewhere.

Here are all the prominent attendees who have tested positive for the virus:

Barrett tested negative on Friday but had the coronavirus this summer. 

More people in the president’s inner circle who interacted with him the week prior to his diagnosis also tested positive. White House aide Hope Hicks, Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, campaign manager Bill Stepien, and Trump’s personal assistant are also among those who have recently tested positive for COVID-19. 

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Chris Christie tests positive for coronavirus, eighth person who attended Rose Garden event

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has tested positive for the coronavirus. The former New Jersey governor is now at least the eighth person to test positive for COVID-19 after attending a Rose Garden event on September 26 Where President Trump announced the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

“I just received word that I am positive for COVID-19,” Christie tweeted on Saturday. “I want to thank all of my friends and colleagues who have reached out to ask how I was feeling in the last day or two. I will be receiving medical attention today and will keep the necessary folks apprised of my condition.”

Christie also notably helped Mr. Trump with debate preparation, spending hours with him over several days leading up to the first presidential debate on Tuesday.

President Trump Announces His Supreme Court Nominee To Replace Justice Ginsburg
Attorney General William Barr (R) says goodbye to former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and other guests after President Donald Trump introducee 7th U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 48, as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at the White House September 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. 

/ Getty Images


Several people close to the president have now tested positive for the coronavirus, including longtime aide Hope Hicks, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, GOP chair Ronna McDaniel, first lady Melania Trump, and campaign manager Bill Stepien. Senators Thom Tillis and Mike Lee, both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have also tested positive. 

At least 8 people tested positive within a week after attending the Rose Garden ceremony — where few people wore face masks and social distancing was not practiced. COVID-19 symptoms typically take several days to appear after coronavirus exposure. 

Mr. Trump is currently receiving treatment for COVID-19 at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, after revealing late Thursday that he had tested positive for the virus. The first lady has not been admitted for treatment. 

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At Least 7 Who Attended Rose Garden Event Have COVID

Contact tracing for the Trumpworld COVID-19 outbreak is still in the early stages, but seven of those who have tested positive were at a packed event in the White House Rose Garden last weekend.

Most in the crowd—invited to see President Trump nominate Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court—were not wearing masks even though chairs were placed close together.

Photos showed guests milling around and chatting with no regard for the federal government’s own social distancing guidelines. Sen. Mike Lee, who later tested positive, was caught on video hugging and kissing guests.

While the ceremony was outside—which can help limit the spread of the virus when proper social distancing is in effect—there were also smaller, mask-free gatherings indoors.

The attendees who tested positive are the president and first lady Melania Trump, Lee, Sen. Thom Tillis, former Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway, and Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins. An unidentified journalist who was there is also infected.

In a statement earlier this week, amid a campus uproar that he did not wear a mask at the event honoring an alumna, Jenkins said he was told he didn’t need to after he and other guests tested negative at the White House. But, he said, he regrets not keeping the mask on and shaking hands with people.

“I failed to lead by example, at a time when I’ve asked everyone else in the Notre Dame community to do so,” he wrote. “I especially regret my mistake in light of the sacrifices made on a daily basis by many, particularly our students, in adjusting their lives to observe our health protocols.”

There is no confirmation that Jenkins or his fellow attendees contracted the virus in the Rose Garden, but the fact that so many tested positive within days raises questions about whether it may have been a superspreader event.

The Centers for Disease Control says coronavirus symptoms generally appear two to 14 days after symptoms appear, and the Rose Garden patients fell ill within that window.

Still, there were other opportunities for the virus to spread. And some of those infected, like Trump adviser Hope Hicks, were not at the Barrett announcement.

Hicks was on Air Force One on Tuesday to attend the debate in Cleveland, along with campaign manager Bill Stepien, who has also tested positive. Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel tested positive but has reportedly been quarantining at home since last weekend after a family member fell ill.

New York Times reporter Michael Shear, who tested positive on Friday, was not at the Rose Garden event but did travel on Air Force One for a Saturday night rally in Pennsylvania. And a third journalist who has since tested positive covered a Sunday briefing.

Shear told The Washington Post that he knew there was risk involved covering the president.

“That said, I wish the White House had taken some of the recommendations that the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] has been talking about for months,” he said.

A growing list

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At least 7 people who attended a White House Rose Garden event for Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination have tested positive for COVID-19



a group of people in a park: President Donald Trump and Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden at the White House on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Alex Brandon/AP Photo


© Alex Brandon/AP Photo
President Donald Trump and Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden at the White House on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Alex Brandon/AP Photo

  • At least seven people who attended an event on Saturday where President Donald Trump announced his Supreme Court pick have now tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • Trump announced that he tested positive for the virus on Friday. 
  • At least 150 people attended the event on Saturday. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump announced Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee on Saturday at an event with 150 attendees. 

Almost a week later on Friday, Trump tested positive for COVID-19. Now the event has come under some scrutiny, as at least seven attendees have tested positive for the virus this week.

It’s unclear if the Rose Garden gathering was a super-spreader event, or how or when those who contracted COVID-19 got the virus — whether at the event or elsewhere.

Video: Trump campaign postpones events after Covid-19 diagnosis (NBC News)

Trump campaign postpones events after Covid-19 diagnosis

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Here are all the prominent attendees who have tested positive for the virus:

Barrett tested negative on Friday but had the coronavirus this summer. 

More people in the president’s inner circle who interacted with him the week prior to his diagnosis also tested positive. White House aide Hope Hicks, Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, and campaign manager Bill Stepien are also among those who have tested positive for COVID-19. 

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Number of Covid cases grows among people who attended White House ceremony

The number of people from President Donald Trump’s inner circle who have tested positive for the coronavirus is growing, with at least seven confirmed cases tied to an event in the Rose Garden last weekend.

On Saturday, Trump officially announced Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the next U.S. Supreme Court justice at an outdoor ceremony attended by more than 150 people, many who did not wear masks or social distancing.

In addition to the president and first lady, at least five other who were at the ceremony have been confirmed to have Covid-19: former top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, Republican Sens. Thom Tillis from North Carolina and Mike Lee from Utah, Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins and a White House journalist.

Conway is the latest to confirm she was infected.

“Tonight I tested positive for COVID-19,” she said in a statement Friday night. “My symptoms are mild (light cough) and I’m feeling fine. I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians. As always, my heart is with everyone affected by this global pandemic.”

Trump, who is being treated at Walter Reed Hospital, where he is receiving experimental treatment and expected to remain for several days, revealed in a tweet his and Melania Trump’s diagnoses early Friday, sending everything from the upcoming presidential election to the Supreme Court confirmation into question.

Democrats were quick to call for a delay in Barrett’s confirmation hearing, but Republicans pushed back and said they intend to move forward with the process. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a tweet Friday that the hearings remain scheduled to begin Oct. 12 and raised the possibility of virtual hearings.

“We now have two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who have tested positive for COVID, and there may be more. I wish my colleagues well,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said in a tweet. “It is irresponsible and dangerous to move forward with a hearing, and there is absolutely no good reason to do so.”

Both Tillis and Lee are members of the Judiciary Committee.

“Over the last few months, I’ve been routinely tested for COVID-19, including testing negative last Saturday, but tonight my rapid antigen test came back positive,” Tillis said. “I will be following the recommendations of my doctor and will be self-isolating at home for 10 days and notifying those I’ve been in close contact with.”

Other members of Trump’s inner circle, including his children, said they have tested negative for the virus.

Conway’s daughter, Claudia Conway, posted a video on TikTok announcing her mother’s diagnosis even before the elder Conway issued a statement. Claudia Conway said she is “furious” that her mother, who brushed off wearing a mask during the pandemic, exposed the family to Covid-19.

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