Mulvaney and other Trump confidants got tested even as the publicly downplayed coronavirus

Mulvaney and other Trump confidants got tested even as the publicly downplayed coronavirus
Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

As critical shortages of coronavirus tests persist nationwide, there's one group of people who have no trouble getting testing access—Trump loyalists. Case in point: Mick Mulvaney, who late last month told a gathering of conservative activists that the media was simply hyping the coronavirus pandemic to "bring down the president."

"It’s not a death sentence, it’s not the same as the Ebola crisis,” Mulvaney told attendees of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on February 28. What Mulvaney didn't share with those activists was the fact that he had already been tested once for the coronavirus, according to the Washington Post, and at a time when access to testing in the U.S. was nearly nonexistent. Mulvaney, still showing no symptoms, then proceeded to get a follow-up test this month after a close contact with someone who spent time with members of a Brazilian delegation and later tested positive for the virus.

In fact, proximity to Trump has proven to be the surest way to jump the massive line of millions waiting for coronavirus testing. While governors continue to clamor for more tests and faster turnaround on results, and most testing continues to be limited to the most critical cases and front-line health care workers, Mulvaney is one of three Trump confidants to get tested even though they weren't experiencing any of the symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19.

The other two members of Trump's inner circle to undergo asymptomatic testing were Trump's incoming chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and consummate Florida man, Rep. Matt Gaetz, who earlier this month mocked concerns about the disease by donning a gas mask on the floor of the House.

And yet another asymptomatic Trump booster who hopped the testing line is GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who not only tested positive but also declined to self-quarantine during the six-day window in which he awaited his results, putting everyone who came into contact with him at risk.

"Meanwhile, the U.S. Capitol Office of Attending Physician has declined multiple test requests from senators and members of Congress because they did not show symptoms," writes the Post. That office is only offering tests to lawmakers who actually exhibit symptoms.

So yeah, if you want testing, spend some QT with Trump, the erstwhile germophobe who's found it nearly impossible to stop glad-handing everyone in sight.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.