United States Attorney General William Barr is going to self-quarantine for several days out of caution, Department of Justice Kerri Kupec said Sunday evening according to The Associated Press. He tested negative four times since Friday, she said.
This follows a rollercoaster of a weekend for White House officials, as well as some criticism for Barr. It just so happens that a number of top Republican figures, who were recently diagnosed with COVID-19, were at the Rose Garden ceremony on September 26 for new U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. This includes President Donald Trump, First Lady Melena Trump, long-time surrogate Kellyanne Conway, as well as GOP Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Thomas Tillis. Most attendees were maskless. Even Tillis, who did have a mask, was seen very much not social distancing.
And yes, William Barr was there too, and was seen talking in close proximity to Conway. The AG’s initial decision not to quarantine caught flak.
“Barr’s refusal to quarantine after exposure is not ‘toughness,'” said University of Michigan Law Professor and former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade via Twitter on Saturday. “It is arrogant, irresponsible, and reckless behavior from our nation’s attorney general.”
Now Barr’s spokesperson says he will self-quarantine. The AG and president both fall in a high-risk category by virtue of their age. Eight out of 10 reported COVID-19 deaths in the United States have been of adults at least 65 years of age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The AG is 70. POTUS is 74.
The president’s doctors have been putting up an optimistic, if contradictory and reticent, front regarding Trump’s prognosis. That peaked culminated this evening, when the president went out and rode by supporters.
Trump drives by the press and supporters outside Walter Reed hospital. pic.twitter.com/3phtKthqTH
— Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) October 4, 2020
Colin Kalmbacher contributed to this report.
[Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]
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