- Following the lead of the boss — President Trump — basic safety COVID-19 protocols were not only ignored by the staff of the White House, they were ridiculed.
- Now the White House is a COVID hotspot and an unsafe workplace.
- There was speculation that the White House could be held criminally or civilly liable, but both are unlikely.
- The government holds itself to a lower standard for workplace safety standards than it does for private companies. And the Trump administration has gutted the agency that holds employers accountable.
- Trump is back in the Oval Office despite still being infected with COVID, putting everyone in that building at risk.
- This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
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The White House is an unsafe work environment.
Over the past few months, following the lead of the boss — President Trump — basic safety COVID-19 protocols were not only ignored by the staff of the White House, they were ridiculed.
Masks were rarely worn, and often mocked or discouraged. Consistent social distancing among senior staffers didn’t happen, either. Crowded meetings in close quarters continued.
Once COVID ran rampant through the building, accurate and up-to-date information from the administration was nowhere to be found, but press secretary Kayleigh McEnany did manage to give some briefings to the assembled press corps, including a short one last Thursday where she didn’t wear a mask.
McEnany tested positive for the virus three days later.
McEnany tweeted that she “definitively had no knowledge” that Hope Hicks had tested positive for COVID earlier that day, but the conflicting and confusing timelines given from the White House through the debacle made some reporters question the statement.
And those reporters who McEnany spoke to are justifiably livid. But they’ve