Trump and first lady Melania tested positive for the dangerous virus on Thursday.
Less than 24 hours later, the situation took a turn for the worse, with the commander-in-chief being transported to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he will undergo tests and remain under observation for several days.
Still, according to officials, the White House is not expected to change its policies in terms of masks and social distancing. As one individual with knowledge of the situation put it, “it’s business as usual.”
Several members of the Trump campaign and White House aides were reportedly “furious” at the president for attending a fundraiser in Bedminster, New Jersey, even after learning that adviser Hope Hicks had the virus.
Between 30 and 50 Republican donors are thought to have attended the event. Trump reportedly held meetings with 19 of them. According to his staff, most of the interaction took place outdoors and the attendees were encouraged to practice social distancing.
Nevertheless, some donors have allegedly been “freaking out” since learning that Trump has contracted the virus and believe that he should not have attended the fundraiser knowing one of his aides was sick.
One senior administration official told The Daily Beast that they are frustrated with how the White House is handling the issue of Trump’s infection, from a public relations standpoint.
“It’s just f*ck-up after f*ck-up. I don’t have much more to add [beyond] that.”
Others believe that Trump and his allies are making a mistake by not promoting mask-wearing as a means of protection against coronavirus.
Shalabh Kumar, a Republican mega-donor and chair of the Republican Hindu Coalition, said that he doesn’t understand why the Trump White House is reluctant to embrace face coverings.
“I support [Trump’s] re-election, I think he’s done an amazing job, I think he’s Ronald Reagan on steroids. But one thing I personally don’t understand is why people don’t wear masks,” Kumar said.
“I hope [the infection] is very minor, and I hope that there’s no negative impact on him or the first lady at all, or anybody else associated with them. I’m very concerned about this,” he added.
But frustration has been boiling for weeks, according to the publication’s sources. CDC officials have reportedly “grown increasingly frustrated” with Trump.
The president has apparently relied on Dr. Scott Atlas for advice on how to handle issues related to the pandemic, sidelining the nation’s top experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci.