Republicans donors are ‘freaking out’ over Trump's new diagnosis: report
The United States' top news story on Friday morning was, hands down, President Donald Trump's announcement that he had tested positive for COVID-19 — which has also infected First Lady Melania Trump and the president's long-time adviser, Hope Hicks. On Thursday night, before he received the diagnosis, the president attended a crowded GOP fundraiser. And CNBC is reporting that Republicans who were in contact with Trump during that event, which was held at the president's golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, are worrying that they might also test positive for the novel coronavirus.
An anonymously quoted source described by CNBC as someone with "direct knowledge" of the event told the media outlet, "The donors have been texting and calling. Freaking out."
CNBC's Brian Schwartz reports that according to a source, about 30-50 people were in close contact with the president at the Bedminster event. However, Schwartz also reports that on Friday, an e-mail sent by the Republican group Trump Victory read, "Out of an abundance of caution, we want to call this to your attention. Please be reminded that due to Trump Victory-protocol, no attendees were allowed within 6 ft of President Trump at the event. Please contact your medical provider if you or any of your loved ones is ill or develops a fever, shortness of breath, or other respiratory symptoms."
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is advising anyone who attended the fundraiser to "take full precautions, including self-quarantining and getting tested."
Hicks tested positive for COVID-19 before Trump. After learning of Hicks' diagnosis, Trump was tested — and at 12:51 AM on Friday morning, the president sent out tweet announcing that his test had come back positive and that the first lady had tested positive as well.
Schwartz explains, "Some Republican donors questioned the president's decision to go to the event after his long-time advisor, Hope Hicks, became ill. Hicks tested positive Thursday morning after displaying symptoms Wednesday night while on a campaign trip to Minnesota with the president. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters Friday that Hicks' diagnosis became known just before the president left for Bedminster."
The COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University, has killed more than 1 million people worldwide and over 208,400 in the United States. Hopkins has reported more than 34 million infections globally.
Trump's diagnosis came only two nights after his debate with former Vice President Joe Biden, who on Friday, tweeted, "I'm happy to report that Jill and I have tested negative for COVID. Thank you to everyone for your messages of concern. I hope this serves as a reminder: wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands."