White House Forgoes Contact Tracing Of Attendees At Rose Garden Ceremony

The White House had resisted an offer from the CDC. Health officials are concerned the event might turn into a super-spreader. So far, 30 people in the Trump circle have tested positive.

The New York Times:
White House Is Not Contact Tracing ‘Super-Spreader’ Trump Rose Garden Event

Despite almost daily disclosures of new coronavirus infections among President Trump’s close associates, the White House is making little effort to investigate the scope and source of its outbreak. The White House has decided not to trace the contacts of guests and staff members at the Rose Garden celebration 10 days ago for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, where at least eight people, including the president, may have become infected, according to a White House official familiar with the plans. (Mandavilli and Tully, 10/5)

The Wall Street Journal:
White House Hasn’t Asked CDC Investigators For Covid-19 Case Tracking Help 

The White House hasn’t called on the nation’s top disease detectives to investigate a Covid-19 outbreak involving the president and several staff, though a team has been mobilized specifically for that work, according to people familiar with the matter. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has readied a team of investigators but hasn’t been asked by the White House to help track down related infections since President Trump announced early Friday he and the first lady tested positive for the new coronavirus, these people said. A federal official said the CDC has been on standby. (McKay, Ballhaus and Abbott, 10/5)

Riverside Megachurch Pastor Who Attended White House Event Contracts Covid-19

The evangelical pastor of a high-profile California megachurch with links to President Trump announced Monday he’s among those who have contracted Covid-19 following the recent White House event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Pastor Greg Laurie of Riverside’s Harvest Christian Fellowship confirmed on his Facebook page that he tested positive for the virus over the weekend. (Marinucci, 10/5)

In related news —

White House Ignores CDC Covid-19 Quarantine Guidelines Despite Virus Cluster

President Donald Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, on Monday revealed she was the latest top official in the White House’s Covid-19 cluster to test positive for the coronavirus. She said in a statement that she “will begin the quarantine process.” But if McEnany had been following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, she would have quarantined days ago — when she found out she was a close contact for Hope Hicks, an aide to Trump who had already tested positive. McEnany isn’t the only person in the federal government setting a poor example, with Republican policymakers ranging from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to Attorney General Bill Barr to Vice President Mike Pence saying they won’t quarantine despite potential close contact with at least one person who tested positive for the coronavirus. They’ve pointed to their lack of symptoms or negative tests, defying the CDC’s guidelines to quarantine or self-isolate regardless. (Lopez, 10/6)

Reporters Are ‘Livid’ After White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany Tests Positive For COVID-19

The number of positive COVID-19 tests out of the White House are now starting to pile up. More than a dozen that President Trump has been around in the past week or so have now tested positive for COVID-19, including another notable name on Monday: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. … McEnany met with reporters indoors last week and then spoke with reporters on Sunday. Sunday’s quick briefing was outside, but she removed her mask to speak. And several journalists who cover the White House have tested positive. (Jones, 10/6)

The Washington Post:
Leaders In Washington Region Ask White House To Follow Safety Protocols As Coronavirus Outbreak Spreads 

Elected leaders in the Washington region are urging the White House to follow pandemic safety protocols to slow the coronavirus’s spread, even as they said the Trump administration hasn’t consulted with them over the growing outbreak. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said her administration has offered help to the White House but otherwise has had little contact with federal leaders. In Montgomery County, where President Trump was recovering for three nights after contracting the virus, the top elected official urged the president to act responsibly. (Nirappil, Chason and Hedgpeth, 10/5)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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