In response to a CNN report about an Australian official testing positive for coronavirus after meeting with Ivanka Trump and Attorney General William Barr, journalist Jeet Heer suggested that Donald Trump‘s White House and his Mar-a-Lago resort might be spreading the disease.
“This sounds insane but it’s entirely possible that the White House and Mar-a-Lago are important vectors for spreading the pandemic,” Heer tweeted Friday evening.
Not everyone appeared to think Heer’s theory is as crazy as he suggested.
“How does that sound insane when it’s exactly what’s happening?” wrote editor Brooke Binkowski.
“Sounds insane? Try plausible,” attorney Brett Chapman responded
“The Brazilian and the Australian were infected in the United States by persons unknown in the Trump administration who hosted them. These unknown persons presumably had contacts with CPAC and New York doctor Alan Berger who tested positive for COVID.”
Per the previously mentioned CNN report, Australia’s home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, tested positive for coronavirus after meeting various White House officials, including Trump, Barr, Director of the Domestic Policy Council Joe Grogan, and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway.
Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), is currently experiencing coronavirus symptoms and awaiting the results of a test, USA Today reported. McDaniel reportedly attended several events with top Republican officials over the last week, including a Mar-a-Lago event with Trump on March 6 and a lunch event with Vice President Mike Pence on March 7.
Other officials that have tested positive for coronavirus after meeting with White House officials included Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who dined with Trump at his Mar-Lago resort shortly before reports suggested he contracted the virus.
Despite the recent wave of high-profile coronavirus contractions, White House physician Sean P. Conley claimed on Friday that Trump is not at high risk for exposure to the virus. He said that Trump recently met two people who have since tested positive for coronavirus but noted they weren’t showing symptoms.
On Saturday evening, Conley reported that the president tested negative for the virus.
White House says Trump’s coronavirus test came back negative pic.twitter.com/CAzW1jYu0x
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) March 14, 2020
According to The Intercept, Republicans are continuing to deny the threat of coronavirus despite warnings from public health officials. Republican Rep. Michael Cloud went so far as to ask Dr. Anthony Fauci to claim that the novel coronavirus is less lethal than other viruses, despite evidence suggesting otherwise.
“No, absolutely not,” Fauci reportedly said in response and noted that the virus is 10 times more deadly than the common flu.
“This is a really serious problem that we have to take seriously,” he added.