COVID-19 has been circulating in the GOP since election day and, according to a Washington Post report, affects about twelve White House staff and eight Republican National Committee (RNC) staff.
Some observers have tentatively linked several recent cases of corona virus to an event that took place in the east hall of the White House on election night. President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 for corona virus in October, but has claimed to have made a full recovery.
On Thursday the RNC announced that Chief of Staff Richard Walters tested positive for COVID-19. According to an RNC statement reported by The Hill, “the RNC follows the CDC’s instructions and notifies staff who have come into contact with him.
Washington Newsday turned to the RNC for further comments.
Other RNC members who tested positive for COVID-19 were reportedly in Washington and in RNC field offices in other states.
Individuals who may have been in contact with Trump at the White House were also diagnosed with COVID-19 in November. Trump campaign consultant Corey Lewandowski confirmed his positive diagnosis with the virus on Wednesday. Lewandowski attended the White House event but was observed wearing a face mask. According to CBS News, Lewandowski believed he contracted the virus while working for the Philadelphia campaign.
Other White House staff members have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the election night event, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, and Presidential Advisor David Bossie. The White House political director, Brian Jack, also received a positive diagnosis, as did the former White House staffer, Healy Baumgardner.
Meadows, Carson, Bossie, Jack and Lewandowski were all present at the White House election night event. However, there is no concrete evidence that the people at the party were infected with the virus.
In September, the White House hosted an open-air event to announce the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the U.S. Supreme Court. Very few people wearing face masks were observed at the meeting. It was believed that the Barrett Celebration became an event with wide circulation.
Bill Stepien, Trump’s re-election campaign manager and presidential advisor Hope Hicks all received positive test results after the September event, as did First Lady Melania Trump. Donald Trump became infected with the virus in early October and required approximately four days of treatment at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
In August Trump claimed that a vaccine against the corona virus would be available before election day. “It is possible even before then,” Trump said in an interview with Geraldo Rivera. “But around that time.”
On Wednesday, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said he did not believe a vaccine would be ready for distribution by 2020. “I believe within the first quarter,” Fauci told CNN. “We have many people in this country who may not want to be vaccinated immediately”.