Another member of the White House press corps has tested positive for coronavirus after taking a rapid test
If their results are confirmed, this person would be the fourth journalist to have tested positive for Covid-19 after being exposed to an outbreak at the White House.
“In the immediate days ahead, we continue to insist that journalists who are not in the pool and do not have an enclosed workspace refrain from entering the indoor press areas of the White House,” the White House correspondents association said. “We would also strongly encourage all journalists to continue avoiding working from the White House grounds entirely if possible.”
Yesterday, BuzzFeed News pulled a political correspondent White House press pool due to coronavirus risks.
Trump doctor says he anticipates president’s ‘return to public engagements’ on Saturday
Washington warns those at White House super-spreader event
In an extraordinary step, the Washington, DC, Department of Health has released an open letter appealing to all White House staff and anyone who attended a September 26 event in the Rose Garden and inside the building to mark the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the supreme court to seek medical advice and take a Covid-19 test.
The letter indicates a lack of confidence in the White House medical team’s own contact tracing efforts regarding an ongoing virus outbreak that has infected Donald Trump, multiple senior staff members and two US senators, among others, The Associated Press writes.
Co-signed by nine other local health departments from neighboring jurisdictions in Maryland and Virginia, the letter flatly states a belief that contact tracing on the outbreak has been insufficient.
It says the public appeal is based on, “our preliminary understanding that there has been limited contact tracing performed to date, there may be other staff and residents at risk for exposure to Covid positive individuals.”
It asks all White House employees, anyone who attended the Sept. 26 event and anyone who may have been in contact with those people to “contact your local health department for further guidance/questions regarding your potential need to quarantine.”
The letter represents a rising level of concern and a clear shift in strategy by Mayor Muriel Bowser’s government, which had previously remained publicly hands-off and said it trusted the White House’s robust medical operation to handle its own contact tracing and follow-up.