The White House cleaning crews have their work cut out for them after an outbreak of coronavirus that infected President Trump, first lady Melania Trump and several aides and staffers.
Trump returned to the White House just three days after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment even though he has not yet been cleared of the virus and was receiving experimental drugs to control his symptoms.
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Cleaning crews in hazmat suits disinfected the James Brady Briefing Room and other parts of the West Wing upon Trump’s return.
Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany briefed reporters on the president’s condition last Thursday from that room and subsequently tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday. Her assistant, Chad Gilmartin, also tested positive.
The two are among at least 20 administration officials and lawmakers who have come down with the virus. Many of them may have been infected at what has been called a “super-spreader event” at the Rose Garden to celebrate Trump’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy — Judge Amy Coney Barrett. The event has come under fire as most attendees were maskless and proper social distancing was not observed.
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Trump returned to the White House, traveling on Marine One, and shot a maskless video of himself waving from his balcony despite still being contagious.
He tweeted Tuesday morning that he is planning to attend next week’s debate with Democratic challenger Joe Biden in Miami.
The president’s diagnosis has fueled speculation over White House measures for keeping its staff safe during the pandemic.
The White House maintains that since March, it has adopted hospital-grade disinfection policies, had medical teams lead coronavirus workshops, significantly reduced staff and encourage maximum teleworking.
On Tuesday, it issued updated guidance on coronavirus protections for employees, which included wearing personal protective equipment and taking additional precautionary measures to prevent cross-contamination.
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Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.