CDC

Dallas-area Pastor Jack Graham opts not to follow CDC guidelines in wake of Rose Garden COVID exposure

Updated Oct. 5 at 8:15 p.m. to include additional information.

WASHINGTON — Dallas-area megachurch Pastor Jack Graham has declined to follow medical guidelines despite being in close contact with people who have since tested positive for the coronavirus after a Sept. 26 Rose Garden ceremony, telling his congregation, “I am ridiculously healthy.”

The 70-year-old leader of Prestonwood Baptist Church attended the ceremony at the White House where President Donald Trump formally announced his nomination of conservative Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court. Since the event, at least 10 attendees have tested positive for the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was photographed sitting directly behind Graham. Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., was sitting next to Graham and also later tested positive.

Graham, Laurie and Christie were among the vast majority of people not wearing a mask at the event.

Robert Morris, the senior pastor at Gateway Church in Southlake, was photographed at the Rose Garden ceremony without a mask. He was seated directly behind Notre Dame President John Jenkins, who was also unmasked and later tested positive for the virus.

A spokesperson for the church declined to comment on if Morris had been tested for the virus and was quarantining following his exposure.

A maskless Graham led his church’s service on Sunday and was photographed having a conversation with several worshippers afterward by a member of his congregation. Graham was not wearing a mask in the photo that was shared with The Dallas Morning News.

Doctors look at a lung CT image at a hospital in Xiaogan,China.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends anyone exposed to someone who tests positive for the virus quarantine for at least 14 days following the exposure and maintain six feet of social distance from others.

“I am ridiculously healthy, let’s just

Why Won’t the White House Let the CDC Contact Trace Its Rose Garden Event?

But Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court.

—Edgar Allen Poe, “The Masque of the Red Death”

It is now more than a week since the White House hosted a Rose Garden ceremony to announce and celebrate the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. More than a dozen people who attended have tested positive for Covid since then, including the president of the United States, his campaign manager Bill Stepien, and his press secretary Kayleigh McEnamy, making this a possible “superspreader event.”

The Centers for Disease Control, standing by to send in a contact tracing team, has been rebuffed. In any other administration, we would call that very odd. In this administration, we call it unsurprising. Dr. Sean Conley said that contact tracing is underway internally, but multiple news sources have tried and failed to find anyone present at the event who was interrogated, and Conley’s reputation for truthfulness has taken a few hits this past weekend. CNN reports that it interviewed “more than half a dozen people who came into contact with Trump over the past week” yet “uncovered little more than a few phone calls and emails to potentially infected people encouraging them to get tested.”

Probably the White House is conducting something that it considers to be contact tracing. But whatever it’s doing clearly doesn’t come close to meeting the CDC’s guidelines, which is why it wants to keep the CDC out.

Why can’t real contact tracing take place? Because that would require various parties, starting with the president, to speak truthfully about when they learned they’d been exposed to someone with Covid; when they got

House Democrats Probe White House Over Swaying FDA, CDC on Virus

(Bloomberg) — A House Oversight subcommittee wants two federal health agencies at the fore of the U.S. coronavirus response to disclose information about the White House’s involvement in scientific decisions, according to letters reviewed by Bloomberg News.



a sign on the side of a building: A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks past the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S, on Saturday, March 14, 2020. As the novel coronavirus has spread in the U.S., the CDC is under increasing heat to defend a shaky rollout of crucial testing kits.


© Bloomberg
A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks past the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S, on Saturday, March 14, 2020. As the novel coronavirus has spread in the U.S., the CDC is under increasing heat to defend a shaky rollout of crucial testing kits.

The letters addressed to the leaders of the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seek documents about agency actions submitted to the White House for review, including communications, comments, first drafts and documents that show changes made during the review process.

The letters sent Monday are signed by Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois Democrat who is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

The subcommittee’s letters express concern about the influence of non-scientists and political appointees over public-health decisions, including how the FDA will assess experimental coronavirus vaccines now in trials. The letter to the CDC asks about what it calls “White House censorship” of CDC guidance.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly said that a coronavirus vaccine will be widely available faster than top government scientists say is likely. The FDA has been expected to issue final guidelines on how vaccines may be cleared for emergency use, a document intended to assuage concerns that a shot might be rushed to market for political reasons.

Trump said last month that the White House might not approve the FDA’s guidelines for vaccine authorization. They haven’t been published as of Monday morning. Krishnamoorthi asked the

In the wake of Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, the White House has yet to mobilize a CDC tracing team to contact hundreds of people who were in the president’s company



a group of people sitting at a park: President Donald Trump and Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden at the White House on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Alex Brandon/AP Photo


© Alex Brandon/AP Photo
President Donald Trump and Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden at the White House on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Alex Brandon/AP Photo

  • The White House is yet to deploy a ‘test and trace’ team of CDC experts following the president’s COVID-19 diagnosis, reported The Washington Post. 
  • The team’s function is to trace test those the president came into contact with while infected to stop the disease spreading further. 
  • Trump attended a fundraiser with 200 people and was in frequent contact with top officials while infected. 
  • Trump has long sought to downplay the seriousness of the disease that has killed more than 200,000 Americans. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The White House has yet to deploy a specialist Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) team to track and test those whom President Donald Trump came into contact with after being infected with the coronavirus. 

Two sources told The Washington Post Saturday that the CDC specialists’ team was on standby but had not yet begun to work tracing all of those the president came into contact with while infected. 

Contact tracing is one of the critical methods advocated by public health officials to contain the spread of coronavirus. The CDC in guidelines on its website says tracing “will be conducted for close contacts (any individual within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) of laboratory-confirmed or probable COVID-19 patients.”

It is not known precisely how or when Trump contracted the virus. Adviser Hope Hicks tested positive for the disease Wednesday and had traveled with the president to his debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday.

Following the debate, Trump took part in several public events, attending a fundraiser at his golf resort in

White House blocks CDC on Florida cruise ship ban amid election concerns

Video: Trump Predicts Supreme Court Will Decide Election Outcome as He Pushes Quick Confirmation (Cover Video)

Trump Predicts Supreme Court Will Decide Election Outcome as He Pushes Quick Confirmation

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UP NEXT

The White House reportedly overruled the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over a ban on passenger cruises in Florida, in an apparent attempt at appealing to voters in the swing state.



a large ship in a body of water


© Provided by The Independent


Florida, where Mr Trump and his Democratic opponent Joe Biden have been almost tied in recent polls, typically brings-in billions in income.

But CDC orders, originally introduced in April at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, had banned cruise passenger ships with a “no sail” order, in an attempt to control Covid-19’s spread.

That order was due to expire on Wednesday, which could have seen Florida’s cruise industry restart after a five month absence without an extension.  

Making an appeal to the White House coronavirus task force this week, CDC director Robert Redfield reportedly wanted to extend the “no sail” ban until next year, amid coronavirus concerns.

According to Axios, the CDC was instead overruled at that meeting, with the vice president outlining alternatives.

The White House and CDC later announced that the “no sail” ban would be extended up-until October 31, in line with the cruise industry’s self-imposed deadline – but months before Mr Redfield had requested.

It is the latest point of contention between Mr Redfield and the Trump administration, who were described as undermining the CDC director on public health policy.

Mr Trump, meanwhile, has berated the director for promiting mask wearing and cautioning against his claims that a coronavirus vaccine would soon be possible.

Defending the decision, White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgensrern denied any political motivation behind the October 31 deadline