Little evidence that White House has offered contact tracing, guidance to hundreds potentially exposed to Trump

In between, the president met with dozens of aides in meetings in which few people wore masks. He appeared before thousands at a rally in Minnesota. And he held a nationally televised debate with former vice president Joe Biden after holing up with debate preppers.

But there was little evidence on Saturday that the White House or the campaign had reached out to these potentially exposed people, or even circulated guidance to the rattled staffers within the White House complex.

It was the latest evidence of the administration’s casual and chaotic approach to the viral threat that has already claimed more than 200,000 lives in the United States.

The crisis within a crisis is emblematic of an administration that has often mocked or ignored the coronavirus guidance of its own medical experts. In this case, the failure to move swiftly potentially jeopardized the health of their own supporters and those close to them, who might fall ill and unwittingly spread the infection to others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had a contact tracing team ready to go, according to multiple sources, but had not been asked to mobilize, even though White House physician Sean Conley said at a press briefing that his team was working with the agency.

Conley also said he was coordinating with local health agencies, but officials in Minnesota, Ohio and New Jersey, where Trump held events in recent days, said they haven’t heard from the White House and are racing largely on their own to find people potentially exposed to the virus.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said any positive test result on the complex is taken seriously and contact tracing is underway.

“The White House has plans and procedures in place that incorporate current CDC guidelines and best practices for limiting covid-19 exposure and has established a robust contact tracing program,” Deere said.

A CDC epidemiologist is detailed to the White House and additional assistance from the CDC will be requested “if necessary,” said an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal plans.

Numerous guests at the crowded Sept. 26 Rose Garden event at which Trump introduced Amy Coney Barrett as his high court nominee said they have not been contacted by anyone at the White House.

Prominent conservative leader Michael Farris interacted there with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who has tested positive for coronavirus, just before Lee gave two other people hugs. A video of Farris, who did not wear a mask, shows him scratching his nose after interacting with Lee. Farris said he is awaiting results of a test that will take another day to get results back, but he said he feels fine.

“There’s nothing fail-safe about any protocol, so I’m not upset,” Farris said.

One man who was pictured mingling in the front rows of the Rose Garden event, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private medical details, said he heard from no one from the government but his doctor had emailed

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White House offered tests to Big Ten to resume football: Sources

The Big Ten got the virus tests from a private company instead, officials said.

The Big Ten ultimately sourced the tests from a private company instead, the officials said.

The conference announced Wednesday its football season — on hold due to the outbreak — would resume on Oct. 23. It said it would utilize “stringent medical protocols,” including daily testing of its student-athletes and coaches.

Trump had since last month been publicly insisting the Big Ten kick off its football season, and he spoke with the conference’s commissioner, Kevin Warren, on Sept. 1, about the matter.

PHOTO: Turf manager Jared Hertzel touches up the newly-painted Big Ten conference logo on the football field at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 6, 2011.

Turf manager Jared Hertzel touches up the newly-painted Big Ten conference logo on the football field at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 6, 2011.

Turf manager Jared Hertzel touches up the newly-painted Big Ten conference logo on the football field at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 6, 2011.

“I called the commissioner a couple of weeks ago, and we started putting a lot of pressure on, frankly, because there was no reason for it not to come back,” Trump told reporters Wednesday.

After that call, Trump directed White House staff to provide any federal resources the conference needed, according to the senior administration official.

“Probably for political reasons, it was easy for the Big Ten to convince their presidents to vote for it, if it wasn’t going to be provided by this White House,” the official said.

Trump has for months called for the return of professional and college sports, many of which had been put on hold. He has pushed for states and schools to lift coronavirus-related restrictions despite the continued high rate of virus transmission in certain parts of the country; his own presidential campaign has ignored local restrictions on crowd sizes, mask-wearing and social distancing.

Many leagues have recently resumed play with safety protocols restrictions and limits on spectators. They have had varying degrees of success in responding to athletes who have fallen ill with the virus.

The Big Ten said Wednesday that athletes, coaches, trainers and others who go on the field would get tested daily and that athletes who receive a

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