New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said Monday that 184 of the 206 people who attended theon October 1 at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster have been contacted. Of the 206 attendees, Murphy said early numbers indicate about half were from New Jersey — and some attendees came as far away as Texas and Arizona.
At a press conference in Trenton, Murphy called the responses from attendees a “mixed bag,” with some demanding to know how the state got their name. “The Republican National Committee, that’s how we got your name,” he said.
Murphy slammed the federal response, saying that New Jersey “is taking the lead on this, even for folks not from New Jersey.” Murphy said state officials got the list of attendees from the Republican National Committee on Friday afternoon, and the state contacted the White House on Friday. He said he heard about Mr. Trump’s positive diagnosis when he saw news reports when he woke up on Friday.
“We needed that trip not to happen and, number 2, we need more” from the federal government, Murphy said.
Some White House staffers were informed that top Trump aide Hope Hicks tested positive on Thursday before the Bedminster trip and Hicks was prevented from traveling. Murphy called the fundraiser “reckless.”
“We already have challenges, we don’t need folks coming in knowing they’ve been exposed to a COVID-positive individual and be in the midst of a couple of hundred of people in New Jersey,” Murphy said.
The state health department is in the process of contacting 19 staff members who worked the event, all of whom live in New Jersey.
Murphy said the attorney general is investigating if the gathering violated the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. He said early reports indicate that the event violated rules governing the amount of people allowed to be indoors and also food service rules, since buffets are not allowed.
Murphy wouldn’t say specifically what action will be taken if the event was found in violation of the restrictions.