Trump Holds White House To A Different Standard Than The Country
May 11, 2020
Trump claims the country is safe to go back to normal even as his White House, which has the most robust testing and safety protocols, is racing to contain its own coronavirus outbreak. While Trump is running widespread testing and contact tracing for those who come into close proximity to him, he still has failed to fix our nation’s testing problem and continues to claim more testing isn’t necessary.
The White House is facing a coronavirus outbreak, which forced three top-ranking health officials to quarantine.
New York Times: “The Trump administration is racing to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus inside the White House, as some senior officials believe that the disease is already spreading rapidly through the warren of cramped offices that make up the three floors of the West Wing.”
Politico: “Three top-ranking Trump administration health officials are in some form of quarantine after possible exposure in the White House — forcing them to self-isolate from a disease they are responsible for fighting. CDC Director Robert Redfield and Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, on Saturday evening disclosed plans to isolate over the next two weeks after ‘low-risk’ contact with an infected person. A day earlier, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn began two weeks of self-quarantine after coming in contact with White House spokesperson Katie Miller, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday.”
The White House is running robust contact tracing and testing for itself, but still has no national plan to contain new surges in coronavirus cases.
CNN: “White House spent the weekend scrambling as they did contact tracing for staffer who tested positive for coronavirus”
Washington Post: “There’s a straightforward way in which businesses and other institutions can relax social distancing measures without spurring a surge in new coronavirus infections: frequent and repeated assessments of employee health, including tests for those showing signs of infection. The goal is simple: quickly containing the virus, thus avoiding new surges in cases. … There is at least one employer in the United States that is currently meeting a robust standard of testing aimed at preventing an outbreak: the White House. We’ve known for some time that the White House was deploying rapid-result tests for the virus, including testing members of the press corps covering the administration.”
The White House implemented additional workplace safety protocols while blocking the release of CDC recommendations for businesses to open safely.
USA Today: “With coronavirus exposure arriving in the West Wing, the White House is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of the president and his staff after two administration aides tested positive for the coronavirus. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will be tested daily for the virus, as will every staff member in close proximity to them. White House guests will be tested, workspaces will undergo regular deep cleaning, and staff will follow social distancing guidelines, undergo daily temperature checks and have their symptom histories reviewed, White House spokesman Judd Deere said Sunday.”
New York Times: “But the federal government has not detailed the best way to minimize risk, much less avoid more deaths. Even as it has experienced positive tests of its own, the White House has so far blocked the release of a set of recommendations developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deeming them overly prescriptive. As a result, businesses have been left to make their best guesses with lives on the line.”
Trump continues to shift his focus to reopening the country even though deaths continue to rise and his own White House is not safe.
Washington Post: “In a week when the novel coronavirus ravaged new communities across the country and the number of dead soared past 78,000, President Trump and his advisers shifted from hour-by-hour crisis management to what they characterize as a long-term strategy aimed at reviving the decimated economy and preparing for additional outbreaks this fall. But in doing so, the administration is effectively bowing to — and asking Americans to accept — a devastating proposition: that a steady, daily accumulation of lonely deaths is the grim cost of reopening the nation.”
New York Times: “In his eagerness to reopen the country, President Trump faces the challenge of convincing Americans that it would be safe to go back to the workplace. But the past few days have demonstrated that even his own workplace may not be safe from the coronavirus.”