With two White House staffers testing positive for COVID-19 last week, the Trump regime is in full panic mode as they've found a political enemy that Trump is powerless to stop.
The Trump administration is racing to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus inside the White House, as some senior officials believe that the disease is already spreading rapidly through the warren of cramped offices that make up the three floors of the West Wing.
Three top officials leading the government’s coronavirus response have begun two weeks of self-quarantine after two members of the White House staff — one of President Trump’s personal valets and Katie Miller, the spokeswoman for Vice President Mike Pence — tested positive. But others who came into contact with Ms. Miller and the valet are continuing to report to work at the White House.
“It is scary to go to work,” Kevin Hassett, a top economic adviser to the president, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program on Sunday. Mr. Hassett said he wore a mask at times at the White House, but conceded that “I think that I’d be a lot safer if I was sitting at home than I would be going to the West Wing.”
He added: “It’s a small, crowded place. It’s, you know, it’s a little bit risky. But you have to do it because you have to serve your country.”
The discovery of the two infected employees has prompted the White House to ramp up its procedures to combat the virus, asking more staff members to work from home, increasing usage of masks and more rigorously screening people who enter the complex.
It is not clear how many other White House officials Ms. Miller or the valet might have come into contact with in recent days, but many members of the West Wing staff who were most likely in meetings with Ms. Miller before she tested positive are still coming to work, according to senior administration officials.
Late Sunday, the White House put out a statement saying that Mr. Pence would not alter his routine or self-quarantine. The vice president “has tested negative every single day and plans to be at the White House tomorrow,” said Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for Mr. Pence.
The concern about an outbreak of the virus at the White House — and the swift testing and contact tracing being done to contain it — underscores the broader challenge for Americans as Mr. Trump urges them to begin returning to their workplaces despite warnings from public health officials that the virus continues to ravage communities across the country.
Most restaurants, offices and retail stores do not have the ability to regularly test all their employees and quickly track down and quarantine the contacts of anyone who gets infected. At the White House, all employees are being tested at least weekly, officials said, and a handful of top aides who regularly interact with the president are being tested daily.
“To get in with the president, you have to test negative,” Mr. Hassett said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.
Mr. Trump continues to reject guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to wear a mask when meeting with groups of people. But a senior administration official said the president was spooked that his valet, who is among those who serve him food, had not been wearing a mask. And he was annoyed to learn that Ms. Miller tested positive and has been growing irritated with people who get too close to him, the official said.
Trump can't bully or threaten the virus, but he can sure threaten and bully the people around him on a daily basis. That won't save him this time though, will it? Sooner or later somebody very close to Trump and Pence is going to get sick, maybe badly ill.
We know Trump surrounds himself with sycophants, not geniuses. They are loyal to his power, yes, but they also believe in his myths. They don't think they'll get sick. They don't think anything bad will happen to them.
But the virus doesn't care.
They are going to screw up, and somebody important is going to get extremely sick.
That's the wild card in all of this.
It's going to get past the daily testing and the measures because the number one factor in spreading COVID-19 is human behavior, and Donald Trump can't cut himself off from people because he feeds on adoration and praise. He has to surround himself with sycophants. He has a pathological need for it.
And it's going to bit him in his orange ass.