After White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced on Monday that she has tested positive for COVID-19, the Trump administration was hit with a stinging criticism: the White House is currently more infected than three countries that have a combined population of 124 million people.
Rep. Ro Khanna, a Yale-educated lawyer and California Democrat, led the charge on an increasingly more common criticism: New Zealand, Taiwan, and Vietnam have fewer COVID-19 cases than the White House.
In recent days, President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, White House advisor Hope Hicks, McEnany, Trump’s personal assistant Nick Luna, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, at least three Republican senators, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have all tested positive for COVID-19. These are not the only known cases, either.
Update—28 positive WH-orbit #COVID19 cases
Sen Mike Lee
Sen Thom Tillis
Sen Ron Johnson
1x WH jr staffer
11x Ohio debate staff pic.twitter.com/58Rg8zyVwd
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) October 5, 2020
The Amy Coney Barrett nomination ceremony two Saturdays ago, which most to all of these individuals attended, is widely believed to be the event that sparked the outbreak. Video and images circulated widely online show people who have since tested positive hugging and engaging in up-close-and-personal conversation at the Barrett event—both indoors and outdoors.
“There are now more recorded cases of COVID-19 in the White House than in New Zealand, Taiwan, and Vietnam combined, and they have 124 million people,” Rep. Khanna said. “Let that sink in.”
Progressive non-profit Public Citizen repeated this criticism almost verbatim.
There are currently more coronavirus cases in Trump’s White House than the entire countries of Taiwan, New Zealand and Vietnam combined.
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) October 5, 2020
As we write this, CNN is reporting that two of Kayleigh McEnany’s staffers have tested positive for COVID-19.
Two of Kayleigh McEnany’s deputies in the press shop have now tested positive as well, CNN has confirmed.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) October 5, 2020
While we certainly hope this outbreak doesn’t get any worse, it seems likely at this moment in time that there will be more positive tests will be reported in the coming days.
The McEnany staffers have been identified as Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt.
This is accurate. White House communications aides Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt both have coronavirus, I’m told. Other mid-level staffers have tested positive, too, in recent days. https://t.co/dDCMJHDZ0b
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) October 5, 2020
Gilmartin is the cousin of McEnany’s husband, MLB pitcher Sean Gilmartin.
[Images via SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images]
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