On Monday, Trump updated the country on the strategy against the virus. On Friday, he ended up infected. In between he did everything.
On Monday, President Donald Trump updated the country on the government’s testing strategy for the coronavirus and announced a plan to distribute 150 million rapid tests. In the early hours of Friday he himself had the virus.
In the intervening days, Trump interacted with dozens of people of your team, donors and supporters. Even the woman he has nominated for the Supreme Court, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, was in the White House this week.
The president participated in preparatory sessions with his collaborators for Tuesday night’s debate with former Vice President Joe Biden, at the small enclosures West Wing, where officials who are periodically tested use their negative results as an excuse to do not wear a mask or take other safety precautions.
The president attended a closed-door fundraising meeting at the home of a wealthy Minneapolis supporter and appeared before thousands of people at a campaign event in Duluth, Minnesota, where most of the public he was not wearing a mask. She also shared a stage with Joe Biden.
It is unclear when and how Trump contracted the virus. The president and first lady Melania Trump said they both had tested positive hours after one of their closest associates, Hope Hicks, had also tested positive.
Hicks received the diagnosis after he began experiencing symptoms Wednesday while attending the president’s meeting in Minnesota. Trump’s participation there lasted about 45 minutes, about half the length of his speeches at campaign events.
In the early hours of Friday, it was still unclear how many of the aides who had been in close contact with Trump had tested positive, but the White House said its medical unit was conducting contact tracing.
The president’s top advisers said they were shocked and that they anticipated that there would be more cases among people in Trump’s orbit. White House officials hoped they could prevent the news about Hicks from being made public, but they were unable to do so.
Trump, for his part, has had a fatalistic attitude when talking to those close to him about the possibility that he or others could get sick and defined that eventuality as a roll of the dice. His week included a series of events in which downplayed the virus in front of large and small crowds, all without wearing a mask.
On Monday, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Trump boasted of progress that, according to him, his government had done to increase the testing capacity.
“I say, and I will say it all the time: We are turning the corner,” Trump said.
He was accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence; Alex Azar, Secretary of Health; Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education; and Abbott Laboratories CEO Robert Ford.
On Tuesday, Trump was accompanied by all their adult children and senior members of his White House cabinet and campaign team aboard Air Force One heading to Cleveland for the first presidential debate. None of them were wearing masks when they were seen boarding and disembarking. Bill Stepien, the president’s campaign manager, was seen on board without a mask and also not wearing it when he later got into a truck with Hicks.
On stage in Cleveland, Trump mocked Biden for his habit of wearing a chinstrap in public.
“I think the masks are fine,” Trump said. Then he added: “I wear a mask when I think I need it. Tonight, for example, everyone has taken the test and there has been social distancing and all the things that have to be done, but I wear masks when necessary ”.
The president then addressed Biden saying, “I don’t wear a mask like he does. Every time they see him, he has the mask on. He can be talking 60 meters from people and he comes with the largest mask I have ever seen ”.