An individual who attended the Conservative Political Action Conference where President Donald Trump was the featured speaker last month has tested positive for the new coronavirus, announced the American Conservative Union, which organized the event.
A statement from the ACU said the unnamed individual had “no interaction” with Trump or Vice President Mike Pence, who also attended CPAC, along with scores of other high-profile conservative politicians.
The person also did not attend any events in the main hall, which drew the largest crowds, according to the ACU. Some 19,000 people attended last year’s event.
“The Trump administration is aware of the situation, and we will continue regular communication with all appropriate government offices,” noted the ACU statement.
The affected participant has been quarantined in New Jersey and is under the care of medical professionals, according to the ACU.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan warned that people who attended or worked at the conference at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor just outside of Washington could be at risk of contracting the virus. He urged that anyone experiencing symptoms should “immediately” reach out to their health care provider.
“Immediately after learning of this individual’s interactions in our state, we began coordinating with the White House, the CDC and federal officials, the New Jersey Department of Health ... and conference organizers,” Hogan said in a statement.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham emphasized in a statement that “at this time there is no indication that either President Trump or Vice President Pence met with or were in close proximity to the attendee. The President’s physician and United States Secret Service have been working closely with White House Staff and various agencies to ensure every precaution is taken to keep the First Family and the entire White House Complex safe and healthy.”
“ACU has been in contact with the Health Department of the State of Maryland and we will explicitly follow the guidance from government health experts,” the ACU statement noted. “During this time, we need to remain calm, listen to our health care professionals and support each other.”
The ACU called its tweet about the situation an “important health notification” for those who attended CPAC. It wasn’t immediately clear what other outreach the organization was doing ― beyond to the Trump administration.
In his speech at CPAC, Trump gave his administration an “A+++” for its work battling coronavirus, though the administration has come under heavy fire from health professionals for a dearth of reliable kits to test for the disease.
Trump’s outgoing acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, accused journalists in his speech at CPAC of hyping the coronavirus threat because “they think this will bring down the president — that’s what this is all about.”
Trump, who initially called mounting fears about COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, a “hoax” by the Democrats, is a self-professed germaphobe and a huge fan of frequent hand-washing. He did, however, plant a kiss on a flag displayed on the CPAC stage.