Dr. Fauci Is Convinced the White House Hosted a ‘Superspreader Event’

Dr. Anthony Fauci echoed what many Americans have already concluded: Donald Trump’s recent Rose Garden ceremony was a “superspreader” event.

Fauci, a leading member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, made the assertion during an interview with CBS News’ Steven Portnoy on Friday, about a week after the president confirmed he had tested positive for COVID-19. The event in question was held for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, whom Trump nominated to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Photos and videos taken during the ceremony showed high-profile figures and administration members without proper face coverings and in clear defiance of social distancing guidelines.

Since the event, at least 34 people within the president’s orbit have tested positive for the disease.

“I think the — the data speaks for themselves,” Fauci said. “It was in a situation where people were crowded together, not wearing masks. We had a superspreader event at the White House. So the data speak for themselves.”

CBS News Radio · CBS News Radio Interview: Dr. Anthony Fauci

Fauci, who is also the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, then addressed Trump’s use of the word “cure” while touting the benefits of an antibody cocktail by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

“We don’t have any indication — I think you really have to depend on what you mean by a ‘cure,’ because that’s a word that leads to a lot of confusion,” Fauci said. “We have good treatments for people with advanced disease who are in the hospital.”

Just two days after Trump was released from Walter Reed Medical Center, he released a video insisting he was feeling “like perfect.” The president recently said he might hold a couple of in-person events this weekend; However, Fauci told CBS News that those are unlikely to happen if Trump doesn’t undergo further testing.

“I can tell you, they are going to be testing him to determine the trajectory and whether he gets to the point where he’s not infected,” Fauci said. “I don’t know all the other stuff you were just saying. But I can guarantee you that they will be testing him before they let him go out.”

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White House hosted Covid ‘superspreader’ event, says Dr Fauci

Dr Anthony FauciImage copyright
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Top US virus expert Dr Anthony Fauci, a member of the Covid task force, said it was clear there was a “superspreader event” at the White House.

When asked on CBS News radio about the White House outbreak, Dr Fauci said “the data speak for themselves”.

The comments come as President Donald Trump says he has recovered and is keen to get back on the campaign trail with less than a month to the election.

Critics say the White House has avoided questions on Mr Trump’s health.

CBS News Radio White House Correspondent Steven Portnoy on Friday asked what Dr Fauci, a veteran health official, thought of the White House’s reluctance to insist on mask-wearing and social distancing as virus precautions, and instead rely on regular testing.

“The data speak for themselves – we had a superspreader event in the White House, and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks.”

Dr Fauci also noted experts have been recommending mask-wearing for the last six months.

An event at the White House, celebrating the president’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court judge on Saturday 26 October, is thought to be the root of the localised outbreak, as many attendees have since tested positive.

Large gatherings are still banned in the nation’s capital due to Covid-19, but federal property like the White House is exempt.

  • Did this White House event cause a virus outbreak?

Earlier on Friday, a White House spokeswoman said the president wanted to return to the campaign trail this weekend.

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Media captionFour Covid rules broken by Trump and the White House

But an administration official later said Mr Trump was unlikely to travel so soon because the logistics of organising events at short notice was problematic. An appearance is more likely on Monday, they said.

The president is also set to have a televised “medical evaluation” on Fox News on Friday evening.

Mr Trump tested positive for Covid-19 last Thursday, according to his doctors, but it remains unclear when his last negative test was.

As many as 34 White House aides and other contacts have tested positive for Covid-19 in recent days, according to an internal memo viewed by ABC News.

Although the names of many people who have interacted with the president and tested positive are now known, it remains unclear just how many were exposed at the White House.

New Covid safety measures – including more stringent mask wearing – are now in place there.

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White House chief of staff hosted 70-person wedding in Georgia despite COVID-19 restrictions: report

Mark Meadows
Mark Meadows

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to the press in Statuary Hall at the Capitol on August 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump and his Republican allies have publicly downplayed the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and failed to acknowledge the value of social distancing measures. One such Republican is White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who — according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution — hosted a “lavish wedding” in Atlanta in May that violated the city and state’s social distancing guidelines.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Democrat, has been an aggressive supporter of social distancing in her city and has had some major disagreements with Georgia’s far-right Republican governor, Brian Kemp, over the coronavirus pandemic — which, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, has killed more than 1 million people worldwide and over 212,000 people in the United States. Back in May, under Bottoms’ stay-at-home order, gatherings of more than ten people were prohibited in Atlanta — and Georgia had a statewide social distancing order as well at the time. But according to Atlanta Journal Constitution reporters Patricia Murphy and Greg Bluestein, the wedding that Meadows hosted for his daughter had about seven times as many people.

“The wedding took place May 31 at the Biltmore Ballrooms in Midtown Atlanta,” Murphy and Bluestein report. “The 70 or so guests, including U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, donned tuxedos and ball gowns for the indoor affair, but no masks, as Meadows walked his daughter, Haley, down the aisle through a path of soft white flower petals. With crystal chandeliers, marble floors and a frame of soaring Roman arches, the lush scene could have come from any wedding magazine — were it not taking place at the height of a global pandemic.”

During the summer months, Kemp was criticized by many Democrats, including Bottoms, for being too quick to ease Georgia’s coronavirus restrictions. But according to Murphy and Bluestein, Kemp’s statewide coronavirus restrictions were still in place when Meadows hosted that wedding.

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“Although the state of Georgia had loosened some restrictions by the end of May,” Murphy and Bluestein explain, “Gov. Brian Kemp’s orders at the time expressly banned gatherings of more than 10 people. The statewide order in effect — which Kemp signed on May 12 — restricted gatherings of more than 10 people so long as they’re not ‘transitory or incidental,’ or spread out across different locations.”

The reporters note that “pictures of the wedding reviewed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution show groups of people clustered closely together in the same room throughout the evening. Under that emergency order, law enforcement could have potentially written citations to the venue for exceeding the gathering size.”

Five months later, Murphy and Bluestein point out, Meadows is facing “intense criticism” for his leadership during the outbreak of COVID-19 infections plaguing the White House — and for a September 26 ceremony for Judge Amy

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Seven Interior state candidates to participate in forum hosted by environmental, racial justice groups | Local News

Seven of the 16 candidates running for election to Interior seats in the Alaska Legislature will be participating in a Climate, Jobs and Justice political forum hosted by a group of Alaska environmental and social justice nonprofits and organizations tonight.

The forum will be held online from 5-7 p.m. and is hosted by Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition, The Alaska Center, Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition, Greater Fairbanks Chapter NAACP 1001, the Nanook Diversity & Action Center, Native Movement, Native Peoples Action and Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawai’i.

The following candidates have confirmed plans to participate: 

House District 1 Democratic candidate Christopher Quist

House District 2 Democratic candidate Jeremiah Youmans

House District 4 Democratic Rep. Grier Hopkins

House District 5 Democratic Rep. Adam Wool

House District 6 Democratic candidate Julia Hnilicka;

House District 6 nonpartisan candidate Elijah Verhagen

Senate District B nonpartisan candidate Marna Sanford.

According to event organizers, an invite was sent to all candidates running for Interior seats in both the state House and state Senate. All seven Republican candidates and two nonpartisan candidates either declined to participate or did not respond to the invite for the forum, organizers said.

The forum will discuss issues ranging from climate action, workers advocacy, social and economic justice and healthcare access.

“The top priorities for the people of Alaska, including health care access, racial and economic justice, climate action, Alaska Native rights, and workers’ rights, don’t always get the attention they deserve. We’re excited to offer this nonpartisan forum to center these critical issues and expand the conversation with our community leaders,” said Rose O’Hara-Jolley of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawai’i on behalf of the organizers.

To ensure proper precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the forum will be held online via Zoom. 

Community members interested in participating can register in advance at

bit.ly/ClimateJobsJustice

StateForum.

Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics. 

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Drive-in movie hosted at Cultura Beer Garden

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Cultura Beer Garden, the Laredo Film Society and Able City Architecture teamed up to capitalize on new opportunities with restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic such as the curfew loosened. They hosted a drive-in movie night Saturday to offer some nightlife and boost a business hit hard by the pandemic.

“We have worked with Cultura for years on different events and figured this event would be a great opportunity to bring our patrons some films and assist a business that has been impacted by the pandemic,” Laredo Film Society board director Karen Gaytan said.


The event featured space for four compact vehicles, five mid-size vehicles and five full-size vehicles along with limited patio seating.

While bars and other nightlife such as Cultura Beer Garden have been some of the business most impacted by the pandemic, Gaytan said organizations like the Laredo Film Society have also dealt with limitations.



“Laredo Film Society is one the many organizations whose programming has been affected by the pandemic,” Gaytan said. “Our in-person events and fundraisers are unable to take place. We have transitioned to having more virtual events, which has helped us maintain an audience and a public to serve, but we have been limited in the ways to carry out our events.”


Although virtual events have helped the organization remain connected and generate funding, it pales in comparison to the outreach they normally receive. Nevertheless, they understand the severity of the situation.

The event took additional precautions aside from just the spacing out of vehicles and seating. Patrons were asked to stay in their vehicles, and waiters wore masks at all times while providing curbside service. Cultura Beer Garden also provided hand washing stations. The Laredo Film Society hopes that with the precautions taken this can be the first of many events.


“We have a series of events for the month of October,” Gaytan said. “We encourage people to check the Laredo Film Society website and social media for more details.”


[email protected]

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