- The White House is yet to deploy a ‘test and trace’ team of CDC experts following the president’s COVID-19 diagnosis, reported The Washington Post.
- The team’s function is to trace test those the president came into contact with while infected to stop the disease spreading further.
- Trump attended a fundraiser with 200 people and was in frequent contact with top officials while infected.
- Trump has long sought to downplay the seriousness of the disease that has killed more than 200,000 Americans.
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The White House has yet to deploy a specialist Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) team to track and test those whom President Donald Trump came into contact with after being infected with the coronavirus.
Two sources told The Washington Post Saturday that the CDC specialists’ team was on standby but had not yet begun to work tracing all of those the president came into contact with while infected.
Contact tracing is one of the critical methods advocated by public health officials to contain the spread of coronavirus. The CDC in guidelines on its website says tracing “will be conducted for close contacts (any individual within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) of laboratory-confirmed or probable COVID-19 patients.”
It is not known precisely how or when Trump contracted the virus. Adviser Hope Hicks tested positive for the disease Wednesday and had traveled with the president to his debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday.
Following the debate, Trump took part in several public events, attending a fundraiser at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, with 200 people only hours before testing positive on Thursday.
The previous day the president had traveled to Minnesota. He held a rally in front of hundreds of supporters, many unmasked, and met top state Republicans at a campaign fundraiser.
Officials in states where Trump has held events recently told the Post that they had not been contacted by the White House about tracing the president’s contacts and were mainly acting independently to find them.
Video: Why the next 48 hours are ‘critical’ for President Trump’s COVID prognosis (FOX News)
In the wake of the president’s diagnoses, several senior Republicans have also been found to be COVID-19 positive, including former presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway, Senator Mike Lee, Senator Thom Tillis, Notre Dame University president John Jenkins, and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie.
There is speculation that a White House ceremony a week before Trump’s diagnosis to announce Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, may have been the “superspreader” event where many became infected.
At the event, few observed social distancing measures or wore masks, and some guests hugged