The Trump campaign is dramatically scaling back their events schedule after the new positive Coronavirus test results for the president and First Lady. Shortly before 1 A.M. on Friday, President Donald Trump revealed the news that he and Melania had tested positive for the Coronavirus, and the news sent some observers reeling, although on late Friday morning, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows claimed that the president was only experiencing “mild” symptoms. The Trump campaign now says that they all scheduled events with the president himself on the bill will be put on hold or held virtually instead.
New on @MSNBC: The Trump campaign has announced that all events featuring Trump will be temporarily postponed or moved to digital events.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 2, 2020
According to Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, all planned Trump campaign events that feature members of the First Family “are also being temporarily postponed,” while all “other campaign events will be considered on a case-by-case basis,” he says. The Trump campaign has, infamously, been holding packed in-person events around the country throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, as if they wanted to pretend as though the threat from the disease simply did not exist. Although contact tracing in the wake of one of the president’s recent big rallies might be difficult due in part to the consistently large volume of cases across the country, one thing is clear — recent Trump campaign events have completely flouted basic public health precautions.
The White House is now on the record saying they discovered Hope Hicks’ positive test just as Marine One was taking off for President Trump’s fundraiser yesterday in New Jersey. The president still did this fundraiser after the positive diagnosis was known.
— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) October 2, 2020
The news of the president and First Lady’s positive Coronavirus test results came hours after the news broke that top Trump aide Hope Hicks, who works closely with the president and traveled with him twice this week, had herself tested positive for the virus. On Friday morning, ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl said that he’d been informed that Hicks was “quite sick.” Trump went to an in-person New Jersey fundraiser on Thursday after the White House learned of Hicks’s positive diagnosis, potentially exposing those who were present to the disease.
— NBC News Graphics (@NBCNewsGraphics) October 2, 2020
The president, who is in his 70s, is himself in a high-risk population when it comes to potential Coronavirus complications — and on Friday, a state official abruptly revealed that Trump was not participating in a planned conference call about Coronavirus relief for seniors. Why not? Was Trump too ill to deal with the call? Coronavirus symptoms may include a relatively manageable cough that nevertheless makes it difficult to hold an uninterrupted conversation — but the Trump administration is not a credible source, so making sense of their behavior during a time of national concern can be difficult.
New: President Donald Trump is not participating in the midday call about coronavirus support for seniors that was listed on his public schedule.
Instead, Vice President Mike Pence kicked off the call, saying Trump asked him to lead it, according to a state official.
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) October 2, 2020