White House Rose Garden SCOTUS ‘super spreader’ event may have infected thousands across the US

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Credit: Lynxotic

From a religious summit outside Atlanta to a campaign rally at a Pennsylvania airport and a private fundraiser in Minnesota, Trump, his aides and political allies attended events with thousands of people, often without masks and little regard for social distancing.

Trump, first lady Melania Trump, senior adviser Hope Hicks and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany are among more than 20 to test positive for COVID-19 from an outbreak tied to the White House. USA TODAY reporters examined hundreds of photos and videos from news coverage and social media posts and scoured attendance logs to identify people who came in contact with those individuals.

At least 6,000 people attended meetings, rallies and other gatherings with them within a week of the Supreme Court nomination ceremony Sept. 26 in the White House Rose Garden, pegged as a potential “superspreader” event.

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More than 120 people came dangerously close to Trump and the others during that week, the USA TODAY investigation found. They traveled, shook hands or mingled in tight, enclosed spaces with those who later tested positive for COVID-19.

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The White House turned down an offer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to track down and notify those who may have been linked to the outbreak.

There is no government-led effort underway to determine how many people outside the official White House staff were exposed to the virus or to warn them.

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