Trump's inner circle is hiding who has COVID and when they got it
It wasn’t just Donald Trump who concealed a positive test result from the public.
While Donald Trump announced his coronavirus diagnosis in the early hours of Friday morning, it turns out he first tested positive on Thursday — and concealed that positive result from the public.
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that sources close to Trump said a rapid COVID-19 test gave him a positive result on Thursday. It wasn’t until a second nasal swab confirmed the diagnosis that Trump tweeted his announcement.
“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” he tweeted.
Trump also instructed an official close to him not to disclose his own positive test results, according to the Journal.
He made an appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox show via telephone Thursday night without mentioning his diagnosis, and he attended a campaign event in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Thursday where he was in contact with more than 200 people.
It’s unclear whether Trump was aware of his diagnosis yet, but he certainly was aware of aide Hope Hicks’ diagnosis, and he failed to quarantine.
Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany refused to give details on Trump’s diagnosis in a conversation with reporters on Sunday. McEnany did not wear a mask.
Asked if Trump was tested prior to his debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden last Tuesday or before the campaign event Thursday, she did claim his first positive result was after the Bedminster event.
“Yeah, I’m not going to give you a detailed readout with timestamps every time the president’s tested. He’s tested regularly and the first positive test he received was after his return from Bedminster,” she said.
McEnany said she would not disclose the number of diagnosed White House employees publicly, citing privacy concerns.
She announced Monday morning that she had also tested positive for coronavirus, though it’s not clear at what point she knew she had been exposed to the virus.
Trump and McEnany aren’t the only ones who have been less than forthcoming about a coronavirus diagnosis: More Trump allies seem to be concealing theirs, too.
Kellyanne Conway announced her own diagnosis Friday night on Twitter, tweeting: “Tonight I tested positive for COVID-19. My symptoms are mild (light cough), and I’m feeling fine. I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians. As always, my heart is with everyone affected by this global pandemic.”
But her 15-year-old daughter Claudia Conway scooped her mother by about half an hour.
“Update my mom has covid,” Claudia Conway wrote on TikTok to her 948,000 followers. “im furious. Wear your masks. dont listen to our idiot … president … protect yourself and those around you.”
Earlier in the evening, she said she suspected her mom, who attended the Rose Garden announcement of Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination along with Trump, had also contracted the virus.
“My mom coughing all around the house after Trump tested positive for COVID,” she captioned a TikTok video that played Cardi B saying “That’s suspicious,” in the background.
Twitter users were quick to post screencaps of Conway’s TikTok account claiming her mom had also knowingly concealed her diagnosis from the family prior to spending time with Claudia.
“She also lied to me today and said her test was negative when it literally wasn’t and I spent all day around her,” the screencap reads.
“Claudia Conway’s mom apparently lied to her about having a negative test result and then spent time around her daughter all day potentially exposing her,” wrote Twitter user Summer Anne Burton, alongside the screencap.
And Republican National Convention chair Ronna McDaniel also dragged her heels on sharing her diagnosis with the public.
On Friday, her team announced her diagnosis — but let slip that McDaniel was diagnosed on Wednesday afternoon.
“You tested positive two days ago and yet you knowingly continued to travel around the country spreading a deadly virus?” one Twitter user wrote. “Resign.”
One thing is clear: No straight answers are coming from the White House anytime soon, and protecting public health has taken a backseat to protecting the GOP’s own self-interest.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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