SuperSpreader

No Contact Tracing After Rose Garden COVID-19 Super-Spreader Event

MARLENE EDITED

 

Now that Anthony Fauci, MD, has declared the Sept. 26 Rose Garden introduction of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a COVID-19 super-spreader event, the question is how many of the 200 guests and White House staff – most of whom did not wear a mask or social distance – have been infected. An infected person could infect at least two other people. The Washington Post is reporting that at least 34 people connected to the event or the White House have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, didn’t parse words on Oct. 9, when he told CBS News Radio that data confirms Judge Barrett’s coming-out party seeded the virus’s spread.

“We had a super-spreader event in the White House,” he said. “And it was a situation where people were crowded together, were not wearing masks. So the data speaks for themselves.”

But figuring out exactly how many people at the event contracted COVID-19 will not be easy. Many attendees have scattered across the country, returning to their homes and their daily lives likely unaware that they had been exposed to the virus. And the White House has resisted much of the CDC’s effort to conduct contact tracing. 

“I think that it is fair to say that anybody who attended the event or worked at it could have been exposed to the virus, since it is likely that they came across others, some of whom were infected,” said Seth Welles, PhD, ScD, a professor of epidemiology and infectious disease at Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health in Philadelphia. “How many have been infected is a whole other story.”

A super-spreader event is defined as when a critical number of infected individuals are in close proximity

Fauci says the White House held a coronavirus ‘superspreader event’

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on Friday said the White House held a coronavirus “superspreader event,” referring to the White House ceremony for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. 

“I think the data speak for themselves,” Fauci said during a CBS News Radio interview when speaking on the importance of mask wearing to curb the spread of COVID-19. 


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“We had a superspreader event in the White House, and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks. So the data speak for themselves,” Fauci said. 

The comment from the nation’s top infectious diseases expert comes after nearly a dozen people who attended the Sept. 26 White House ceremony for Barrett’s nomination tested positive for COVID-19, including President Trump, the first lady, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and several others. 

Many of those in attendance sat close together in the White House Rose Garden, with many not wearing face coverings. 

The phrase “superspreader event” is used to describe places where the virus has spread to a large number of people. 

At least 34 White House staffers and other contacts have been infected with the coronavirus in recent days, according to a Federal Emergency Management Agency memo obtained by ABC News. 

Fauci also commented on the president’s use of the word “cure” for the experimental antibody cocktail he was given after his coronavirus diagnosis last week. He said there is currently no cure for COVID-19 only therapeutics.

“We don’t have any indication — I think you really have to depend on what you mean by

Overnight Health Care: Fauci: ‘We had a superspreader event in the White House’ | Trump to hold an in-person event on Saturday

Welcome to Friday’s Overnight Health Care. President Trump is returning to in-person events, the stimulus talks are maybe sort-of alive again, and the CDC warns about the spread of the virus among young people. But we’ll start with Dr. Fauci weighing in on the White House.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Overnight Health Care: Fauci: 'We had a superspreader event in the White House' | Trump to hold an in-person event on Saturday | Trump proposes a $1.8T relief package


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Overnight Health Care: Fauci: ‘We had a superspreader event in the White House’ | Trump to hold an in-person event on Saturday | Trump proposes a $1.8T relief package

A stark assessment from Dr. Fauci: ‘We had a superspreader event in the White House’

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Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said Friday that there was a “superspreader event” at the White House, amid an outbreak of cases among the president and staff.

“Well, I think the data speak for themselves. We had a superspreader event in the White House, and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks,” Fauci told CBS News Radio.

His remarks came in response to a question about the lack of mask-wearing at the White House, and whether testing alone could stop the virus from spreading.

At least 34 White House staffers and contacts have been infected, according to a Federal Emergency Management Agency memo obtained by ABC News.

Many of the individuals who have tested positive attended a Sept. 26 event at the White House where Trump announced the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The event featured a crowd of people sitting close together in the White House Rose Garden, with many not wearing masks, as well as indoor activities.

Read more here.

And now, Trump to hold an in-person event on Saturday:

President Trump plans to hold an in-person event at the White House on Saturday, an

Fauci calls Amy Coney Barrett ceremony in Rose Garden ‘superspreader event’

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, on Friday called President Donald Trump’s Rose Garden ceremony last month announcing Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court a “superspreader event.”

Fauci, who was interviewed by CBS News Radio’s White House correspondent Steven Portnoy, defended the efficacy of wearing masks to slow the spread of Covid-19 and used the ceremony as an example.

“Well, I think the data speaks for themselves. We had a superspreader event in the White House and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks,” he said. “So the data speak for themselves.”

This is not the first time Fauci has been at odds with Trump, who has had a cavalier attitude toward Covid-19 since being released from the hospital Monday after being infected with the virus, and has boasted about his apparent recovery and given mixed messaging around wearing masks.

Fauci survived a previous White House attempt to discredit him after he contradicted the president’s more optimistic assessment of the progress of the pandemic and corrected the president’s claim that the virus is the same as the flu.

Trump announced Barrett, a federal appeals judge, as his nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the next Supreme Court justice at an outdoor ceremony Sept. 26, attended by more than 150 people, many of whom did not wear masks or practice social distancing.

In addition to the president and the first lady, several other people who were at the ceremony have been confirmed to have Covid-19: former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, Republican Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah, University of Notre Dame President John Jenkins and a White House journalist.

Following that event, the number of people

Fauci calls White House outbreak a coronavirus superspreader event

More than 150 people gathered in the White House’s Rose Garden on September 26 to see President Donald Trump officially nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Most of them were maskless. Many hugged or shook hands as they mingled in close proximity.

Some attendees even celebrated inside the White House, without masks.

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the nomination ceremony was a coronavirus superspreader event. The term refers to a circumstance in which one person infects a disproportionately large number of others, often during a large gathering.

“The data speak for themselves,” Fauci told CBS News in a radio interview on Friday.

Within five days of the event, both the president and the first lady, Melania Trump, were diagnosed with COVID-19. The outbreak has hit at least 34 people in the president’s orbit, including White House staffers, bodyguards, and family members, as well as pastors, journalists, GOP senators, and advisors.

The identity of the person or people who were first infected, however, is unknown.

Defining a superspreader

rose garden barrett

Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks in the White House’s Rose Garden on September 26 after President Donald Trump nominated her to the Supreme Court.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty


The term superspreader refers to an infected person who transmits the virus to more people than the average patient does. For the coronavirus, that average number, known as R0 (pronounced “R-naught”), has seemed to hover between 2 and 2.5. So anyone who passes the virus to three people or more could be considered a superspreader.

A superspreader event, then, is a set of circumstances that facilitates excessive transmission. In one well-known example, a person transmitted the virus to 52 others during a choir practice in March