White House staffers say they are relying on ‘Twitter and TV’ to tell them who has become infected

Several people who spent time with President Trump last week before he tested positive for COVID-19, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), found out about his results through the news, The Wall Street Journal reports.

White House officials told the Journal a medical team is conducting contact tracing, working to notify individuals who were exposed to infected staffers. On Friday, Christie, who helped Trump prepare for last Tuesday’s debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, said that he had yet to hear from anyone at the White House. Christie tweeted on Saturday that he had tested positive for COVID-19, and later shared that as a precaution, he checked into a New Jersey hospital.

Christie was at the White House on the morning of Sept. 26 for debate prep, and was in close proximity with multiple people who later tested positive for COVID-19, including Trump’s close adviser Hope Hicks, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, and Trump himself. Later that day, Christie and Conway gathered in the Rose Garden for Trump’s announcement of Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee. Not very many people wore masks to this event, and several guests have since tested positive, including Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who was spotted hugging and kissing other guests.

Other people who participated in debate practices with Trump, including his lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and senior campaign adviser Jason Miller have said they tested negative for the virus. Giuliani said he learned about Hicks’ positive test results from the news, but White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows called to notify him of Trump’s diagnosis.

Several White House staffers told the Journal no one is doing a very good job internally of conveying information on test results or Trump’s condition, with one official saying they are “glued to Twitter and TV because I have no official communication from anyone in the West Wing.”

More stories from theweek.com
7 insanely funny cartoons about the chaotic first debate
Report: GOP Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania to retire in 2022
Doctor slams Trump for leaving hospital to drive by supporters: ‘The irresponsibility is astounding’

Source Article

Read more

White House staffers get email saying to stay home if they experience coronavirus symptoms

White House staffers were urged in an email Sunday to “please stay home” and “do not come to work” if they have exhibited any symptoms of the coronavirus.

An all-staff email obtained by New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi directed members of the White House staff to “immediately contact your primary care provider” and “inform their supervisors” in the event of symptoms being presented.

“If you or your colleagues believe that you should be practicing telework, or have questions about your ability to do so, please contact your supervisor,” the email reads.

The guidance for White House employees came almost three days after the president announced his own diagnosis of COVID-19, along with his wife’s, shortly after the confirmation that Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksDoctors, White House staff offer conflicting messages on president’s health Trump given second dose of Remdesivir ‘without complication’, ‘not yet out of the woods’, Conley says Barr will not quarantine following potential exposure to COVID-19 MORE, his longtime aide, had tested positive.

It also comes amid a whirlwind of criticism centered around the White House and allies of the president surrounding the president’s longstanding resistance against publicly taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus; Trump has frequently made public appearances at rallies and various events without a mask and in apparent violation of various local guidelines enforcing social distancing.

The president’s allies attempted to defend his past behavior on Sunday as well as his decision to leave Walter Reed Medical Center for a drive-by past supporters gathered outside, even as the White House has faced searing criticism over misleading comments about Trump’s health and continued personal fight against COVID-19.

“Now more than ever, the American public deserves independent coverage of the president so they can be reliably informed about his health,” said the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) on Sunday.

Source Article

Read more

Two staffers of White House residence tested positive for COVID-19 weeks ago: report

Two members of the White House residence staff who do not come into direct contact with the president or first lady tested positive for the coronavirus about three weeks ago, The New York Times reported Sunday. 

The Times report about the positive tests among the residence staffers, which cited unnamed sources, comes after both President TrumpDonald John TrumpJaime Harrison debates Graham behind plexiglass shield Doctors, White House staff offer conflicting messages on president’s health Trump given second dose of Remdesivir ‘without complication’, ‘not yet out of the woods’, Conley says MORE and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpJaime Harrison debates Graham behind plexiglass shield Doctors, White House staff offer conflicting messages on president’s health Trump given second dose of Remdesivir ‘without complication’, ‘not yet out of the woods’, Conley says MORE have tested positive for the virus. 

Trump said Friday he and his wife tested positive for the virus, but the Times notes that the positive cases among residence staffers raises questions about how and when the president may have been exposed to the virus. 

Asked about the Times’ report over the positive cases among the two residence staffers, White House spokesperson Judd Deere said the White House “does not comment on the personal health information of individual staffers but does take any positive case seriously and has extensive plans and procedures in place to prevent further spread.” 

“A full and complete contact trace consistent with CDC guidelines is included in that and appropriate notifications and recommendations are made,” Deere added in a statement. 

Trump said Friday he tested positive for the coronavirus. He was taken to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center later that day for treatment. 

A number of Republicans within Trump’s orbit have also announced testing positive for the virus after Trump.

Source Article

Read more

Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows says he ‘fully’ expects staffers to get COVID

  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Friday that he “fully” expects other top aides to the president to test positive for the coronavirus after Trump and the first lady’s diagnoses. 
  • Meadows told reporters during an informal briefing on Friday morning that “all of our core staff” have been tested recently and said he has a “mitigation plan” in case others are infected. 
  • “I fully expect that as this virus continues to go on, other people in the White House will certainly have a positive test result,” Meadows said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Friday morning that he “fully” expects other top aides to the president to test positive for the coronavirus after the president and first lady’s diagnoses. 

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania announced early Friday morning that they had both tested positive for COVID-19. The president’s close aide, Hope Hicks, tested positive for the virus on Thursday morning after developing symptoms Wednesday evening. 

Meadows told reporters during an informal briefing on Friday morning that “all of our core staff” have been tested recently.

“I fully expect that as this virus continues to go on, other people in the White House will certainly have a positive test result,” Meadows said. “We’ve got the mitigation plan in place to make sure that the government not only continues to move forward, but the work of the American people continues to go forward.” 

Meadows also confirmed that the White House knew Trump’s top aide Hope Hicks, who has regular contact with the president, was infected with COVID-19 before Trump attended a fundraising event in New Jersey on Thursday, during which he came in close contact with dozens of people. 

“I’m not going to get into the tick tock. I can tell you, in terms of Hope Hicks, we discovered that right as the Marine One was taking off yesterday,” Meadows told reporters. “We actually pulled some of the people that have been traveling and in close contact. The reason why it was reported out, just frankly, is that we had already started to contact tracing just prior to that event.” 

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, both tested negative for the virus on Friday. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Trump has consistently played down the severity of the virus, pushed states to violate public health guidelines by quickly reopening, and dismissed those who take recommended mitigation measures. 

During Tuesday’s presidential debate, Trump mocked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for regularly wearing a face mask. 

“When needed, I wear a mask,” Trump said. “I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him he wears a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away. He shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”

Biden tested negative for the virus on Friday morning.

 

LoadingSomething is loading.

Source Article

Read more

Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows says he ‘fully’ expects other White House staffers to get coronavirus



Mark Meadows wearing a suit and tie: Doug Mills/Getty Images


© Doug Mills/Getty Images
Doug Mills/Getty Images

  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Friday that he “fully” expects other top aides to the president to test positive for the coronavirus after Trump and the first lady’s diagnoses. 
  • Meadows told reporters during an informal briefing on Friday morning that “all of our core staff” have been tested recently and said he has a “mitigation plan” in case others are infected. 
  • “I fully expect that as this virus continues to go on, other people in the White House will certainly have a positive test result,” Meadows said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Friday morning that he “fully” expects other top aides to the president to test positive for the coronavirus after the president and first lady’s diagnoses. 

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania announced early Friday morning that they had both tested positive for COVID-19. The president’s close aide, Hope Hicks, tested positive for the virus on Thursday morning after developing symptoms Wednesday evening. 

Meadows told reporters during an informal briefing on Friday morning that “all of our core staff” have been tested recently.

“I fully expect that as this virus continues to go on, other people in the White House will certainly have a positive test result,” Meadows said. “We’ve got the mitigation plan in place to make sure that the government not only continues to move forward, but the work of the American people continues to go forward.” 

Meadows also confirmed that the White House knew Trump’s top aide Hope Hicks, who has regular contact with the president, was infected with COVID-19 before Trump attended a fundraising event in New Jersey on Thursday, during which he came in close contact with dozens of people. 

Video: Biden slams Trump for putting pressure and disagreeing with his own scientists on Covid-19 vaccine timeline (CNBC)

Biden slams Trump for putting pressure and disagreeing with his own scientists on Covid-19 vaccine timeline

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

“I’m not going to get into the tick tock. I can tell you, in terms of Hope Hicks, we discovered that right as the Marine One was taking off yesterday,” Meadows told reporters. “We actually pulled some of the people that have been traveling and in close contact. The reason why it was reported out, just frankly, is that we had already started to contact tracing just prior to that event.” 

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, both tested negative for the virus on Friday. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Trump has consistently played down the severity of the virus, pushed states to violate public health guidelines by quickly reopening, and dismissed those who take recommended mitigation measures. 

During Tuesday’s presidential debate, Trump mocked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for regularly wearing a face mask. 

“When needed, I wear a mask,” Trump said. “I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him he wears

Read more

White House Staffers Cheer on South Lawn As Trump Departs for Presidential Debate

White House staffers gathered in a line along the White House South Lawn on Tuesday and cheered as President Donald Trump departed for Cleveland, Ohio to attend the first 2020 presidential debate against Democratic nominee Joe Biden.



a man standing next to a woman: President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence walk to the White House Rose Garden on September 28, 2020.


© Tasos Katopodis/Getty
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence walk to the White House Rose Garden on September 28, 2020.

A crowd of Trump administration employees stood behind a white rope cheering and waving with flags as the president and first lady Melania Trump walked by ahead of their departure.

In a few hours, Trump is expected to face the most direct challenge of his job performance as president and handling of the coronavirus in the first of three debates against his Democratic opponent.

Who Is Chris Wallace, Fox Anchor And Presidential Debate Moderator?

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace will moderate the live event to an in-person crowd of around 70 people, a much smaller audience compared to previous debates, due to the pandemic.

A new Monmouth University poll found that 74 percent of voters plan on tuning in to watch the heated showdown. However, an overwhelming majority of those who plan to watch—87 percent—doubt the debate will change their minds about who to vote for on Election Day.

According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, topics that will be covered tonight include Trump and Biden’s voting records, the Economy, the Supreme Court and COVID, as well as race and violence in American cities. Candidates will have roughly two minutes to answer their questions, with each segment lasting around 15 minutes.

In recent weeks, the two candidates have taken vastly different approaches to preparing for the debate. With 35 days until November 3, Trump has been grinding out back-to-back in-person campaign rallies and events in key swing states. While earlier reports indicated that he had decided to skip formal debate preparations, Trump on Sunday told reporters that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie have been helping him prepare “a little.”

“President Trump prepares for debates every day by being president and building an excellent record to run on for reelection,” Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh told CNBC.

Biden wound down campaign events last Thursday to ramp up debate preparation. According to the Associated Press, the former vice president has participated in mock debate sessions, with senior campaign adviser Bob Bauer playing the role of Trump. Bauer didn’t dress up as the president, but he has been imitating his unique style and expected strategy by hurling insults and strange digressions at Biden.

Biden laid out his strategy on MSNBC over the weekend, revealing that he will be taking the fight to Trump.

“I’m prepared to go out and make my case as to why I

Read more

Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office

A former aide to Vice President Pence said that White House staffers have privately discussed a scenario in which President TrumpDonald John TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It ‘isn’t worth the paper it’s signed on’ Trump ‘no longer angry’ at Romney because of Supreme Court stance MORE loses the November election and refuses to leave office.

Olivia Troye — who served on the coronavirus task force and as an adviser to Pence on counterterrorism and homeland security and has since emerged as a top White House critic after leaving the administration — said she held closed-door talks with other staffers while she was on the task force and that she is concerned by recent comments from Trump in which he did not commit to a peaceful transfer of power. 

“It’s frightening to me, because to be honest, during my tenure at the White House, I’ve had conversations behind closed doors with White House staffers and other government officials, including people in the intelligence community, where we’ve actually discussed what if, what if he loses and refuses to leave, or better yet, what if his plan is four more years of Donald Trump should he win, and would he leave after that?” she said on CNN.

The remarks come after an avalanche of criticism over Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the November election. 

“We’re going to have to see what happens, you know, but I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. The ballots are a disaster,” Trump told reporters at a White House briefing Wednesday. 

“Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation,” Trump added when pressed, referring to debunked theories about the susceptibility of mail-in ballots to fraud. “The ballots are out of control. You know it, and you know who knows it better than anyone else? The Democrats know it better than anyone else.” 

Democrats have hammered Trump over the comments, warning that he’s putting the country’s democracy at risk.

“The president when he’s joking, if he says that he’s joking, he’s telling you a half truth,” Troye said. “And in there is something fairly frightening and scary.”

Troye left the administration in August and has used her time outside the White House to tear into Trump’s response to

Read more

Staffers discussed scenarios where Trump won’t leave White House

White House staffers discussed scenarios where President Donald Trump doesn’t accept the results of the November presidential election and refuses to leave, according to a former staffer who has since spoken out against the president.



a person posing for the camera: Olivia Troye left the administration in August, long before Trump declined this week to commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose the election.


© Olivia Troye/YouTube
Olivia Troye left the administration in August, long before Trump declined this week to commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose the election.

Olivia Troye, who worked on the coronavirus task force and served as an adviser to Vice President Mike Pence on counterterrorism and homeland security, said Friday she and other staffers held closed-door conversations about the scenario while she was working on the coronavirus task force.

Loading...

Load Error

Troye left the administration in August, long before Trump declined this week to commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose the election. The president has also repeatedly joked about serving beyond his term limit and accused Democrats of trying to steal the election.

Troye warned the president’s comments should be taken seriously, even if he passes them off as jokes.

“The president when he’s joking, if he says that he’s joking, he’s telling you a half truth,” Troye told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday. “And in there is something fairly frightening and scary.”

“What you see is what you get,” she added. “You should trust that. He doesn’t hide it.”

When asked Thursday if Trump would commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters: “The President will accept the results of a free and fair election.”

Troye last week appeared in an ad bashing the president as more concerned with his reelection than the pandemic that has now claimed more than 200,000 American lives. The ad was run by the group Republican Voters Against Trump. In it, Troye asserted that she is a lifelong Republican.

The White House defended Trump by casting Troye as a disgruntled former employee. Her former boss, retired Gen. Keith Kellogg, took to the White House lectern Tuesday to disavow Troye and said he personally escorted her out of the office.

Troye said she was not fired. Rather, she said, she resigned and several of her colleagues asked her to stay. She denied Kellogg’s account during her Friday appearance with Blitzer.

“I’d love to see the video footage of this video tape where he supposedly escorted me out,” Troye said. “I know a lot of the secret service people on the campus, and I would love to see that footage.”

Video: Biden criticizes Trump for ‘irresponsible, outrageous attacks on voting’ (NBC News)

Biden criticizes Trump for ‘irresponsible, outrageous attacks on voting’

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

Continue Reading

Source Article

Read more