As President Donald Trump and several other key members of the Republican Party and his staff continue to test positive for COVID-19, all eyes are turning to an event last weekend which all of the parties now ill were present at—the President’s Rose Garden ceremony to announce Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
According to the Washington Post, at least seven people who were in attendance at the Sept. 25 event—including the President, Republican senators Thom Tillis and Mike Lee, former counselor Kellyanne Conway and Notre Dame President John Jenkins—have all since tested positive for the coronavirus. Mask use was not common at the event, with several people forgoing facial coverings, as social distancing was also largely ignored. Since then, speculation has grown that someone in attendance was positive for the virus, and then spread it to the others who have all since become infected.
Thus far, symptoms have reportedly been mild for most of those infected, though the President has been hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center put of precaution.
Barrett has tested negative after attending the event, though she was previously diagnosed with the virus during the late summer and recovered, CNN reports.
Since news of many who attended the event getting sick broke, critics have taken to Twitter to deem it the “Rose Garden Massacre,” which trended on Saturday as more names of attendees were released as people who tested positive.
Others used the news to criticize the President and his family for their generally refusing to wear masks—pointing out the President’s family for all taking off their masks after being seated at Tuesday’s debate in Ohio with Joe Biden.
Some also took the news to poke fun at the last time the Rose Garden made news—which was over the summer after Melania Trump caught criticism for changing the look of the space and ripping out plants put in by Jackie Kennedy ahead of the Republican National Convention.
In a press conference Saturday, Dr. Sean Conley stated the President is “doing very well,” though he remains hospitalized.