New Jersey Starts Contact Tracing For People Who Attended Donald Trump’s Fundraiser On Thursday

Donald Trump sits at a table in the White House.
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New Jersey officials said they have started contact tracing for people who attended Donald Trump’s fundraiser at his company’s golf resort on Thursday, which took place just hours before the president publicly announced that he had tested positive for coronavirus.

Trump took to Twitter in the early morning hours on Friday to announce that he and First Lady Melania Trump had both tested positive. A number of people close to Trump have contracted the virus as well, including Hope Hicks and Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. There was not yet confirmation whether their COVID-19 cases were related to Trump’s, but the state of New Jersey was already taking precautions for those who were in close proximity to him on Thursday.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy released a statement on Friday morning saying that the state was working to connect with those who were at the fundraiser held at the Bedminster golf club.

“The contact-tracing process is underway. We urge everyone who attended yesterday’s event in Bedminster to take full precautions, including self-quarantining and getting tested,” Murphy said.

Murphy added that he and his wife offered best wishes to the couple for a full and speedy recovery, saying that those living in the state have learned the importance of pulling together and supporting those fighting the virus.

Donald Trump walks on the White House lawn.
  Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

As NBC New York noted, the RNC said in a statement on Friday that precautions had been taken for those who attended the fundraiser, including COVID-19 tests and temperature checks at the door. All of those at the golf club also remained at least 6 feet away from Trump during the event, the organization noted.

The NBC New York report noted that Rich Roberts, a top Republican donor and pharmaceutical executive, said this week that there were about 19 people at the event, which lasted between 45 and 60 minutes.

Trump has been criticized for his failure to adopt social distancing measures like wearing a mask, with critics saying that the president’s campaign events created a risk of spreading the virus. Trump defended these events during this week’s debate, saying that his large rallies have been held outdoors and that no one had gotten sick as a result. Trump’s first rally after being forced to shutter his campaign for several months — held indoors at an arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma — has been connected to a surge in coronavirus cases in the area that came in the weeks that followed.