Those who have been retracing Trump’s steps over the past few days have noted with alarm that he’s been in maskless, not-socially-distanced contact with much of the upper echelon of the Republican Party. This includes Ronna McDaniel, the RNC chair, who tested positive on Wednesday. See Sam Brody, Daily Beast:
The web of those exposed by President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis reads like a who’s who of his peripatetic campaign: his campaign manager, the chair of the Republican National Committee, the leader of the House GOP’s campaign arm, and several high-profile members of Congress.
Now, those officials—not to mention countless supporters of the president—have either contracted COVID-19 or are at high risk for it after a week in which an infected Trump has criss-crossed the country. It also means a wide swath of the GOP’s formal campaign apparatus could be sidelined a month before a pivotal election in which the party is losing ground in its efforts to hold onto the White House, keep the Senate, and recapture the House.
Go on to read the rest of the article to see where he’s been and who he has been in contact with. For example, at least two other people at the Amy Coney Barrett nomination announcement on Saturday have tested positive — Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee and the Rev. John Jenkins, the president of the University of Notre Dame. Trump was not exactly exercising caution at the event; Sam Brody writes that “video taken of the event by a CNN reporter shows him hugging and greeting other attendees without wearing a mask.” I don’t suppose there is any way to know if Trump was the infector or infectee at that point.
Amy Coney Barrett herself says she already had the virus and recovered.
There are some hints here and there that Trump was not feeling well as early as Wednesday. His speech at a rally in Minnesota was short, by Trump standards, for example. But sources in the White House are saying that Trump feels just fine or has only mild symptoms or has a fever and a cough. Given how the White House clearly lies about the state of Trump’s health, my guess is that he’s sicker than they’re letting on.
Erin Banco and Asawin Suebsaeng of the Daily Beast say that the White House has been plain sloppy about virus protocols for a long time.
News that President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump had contracted the coronavirus may have sent shockwaves through the nation’s capital as it awoke Friday morning. But for those who worked for the president, the surprise was that it had taken this long to get to this point.
The White House may house some of the most important figures in government. But for months, the testing protocols to screen potentially infectious individuals have been more lax than the president’s aides present to the public.
It’s a wonder he didn’t catch it sooner. Joe Biden is still negative, he says, although that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s in the clear.
Paul Waldman writes that Trump thought he could beat the virus with spin. Obviously, he failed.
Charles Pierce has questions, including “Do they have to disinfect the nuclear ‘football’?” and “Does the White House have enough roosts for all these returning chickens?”
Update: CNN reports that Trump is on his way to Walter Reed.