White House refused to trace COVID infections after Amy Coney Barret's potential super-spreader event: report

White House refused to trace COVID infections after Amy Coney Barret's potential super-spreader event: report
President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump pose for a photo with Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the President's nominee for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, her husband Jesse and their children Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

Nine days after the White House Rose Garden nomination announcement and celebration of Judge Amy Coney Barrett as President Donald Trump's third Supreme Court nominee at least 11 Trump associates have tested positive for COVID-19.

Reporters, including at least one of the three who were present covering the event and became infected, were surprised that they had received no call from the White House or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to attempt any contact tracing, or notify them they should quarantine after coming in close contact with attendees who tested positive for the deadly virus.

Now The New York Times reports that the White House will not perform any contact tracing, and will not notify any attendees to self-quarantine. The CDC has been ordered to not perform any contact tracing as well, despite that it is the government agency best prepared to perform the important function.

The White House "has limited its efforts to notifying people who came in close contact with Mr. Trump in the two days before his Covid diagnosis Thursday evening. It has also cut the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has the government's most extensive knowledge and resources for contact tracing, out of the process.

"The Times calls contact tracing "an essential piece of any outbreak investigation," and "a key to stopping the virus from spreading further, especially after a potential 'super spreader' event where many people may have been infected."

New York Times White House correspondent and CNN political analyst Michael Shear, who became infected after covering the event, says "nobody from the White House has said 'boo.'"

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.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

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