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Archive for October 5th, 2020

William Barr to Self-Quarantine After Possible Exposure to Coronavirus

Attorney General William Barr, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling

Attorney General William Barr will self-quarantine after refusing to do so on Friday following possible exposure to the coronavirus from members of President Trump’s inner circle. 

A Justice Department spokesperson told The Associated Press that Barr plans stay inside his home for several days after attending a meeting at Justice Department headquarters, hours after Trump announced he tested positive for the coronavirus.

Barr has tested negative four times for COVID-19 since Friday, the spokesperson Kerri Kupec said.  

Last week, Barr attended a ceremony for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett in the White House Rose Garden, where more than 150 people assembled shoulder to shoulder without social distancing. Barr was seen speaking with former Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, who tested positive for COVID-19. Neither wore a mask.  

At least eight attendees tested positive for the virus, including Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, Notre Dame President John Jenkins, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has checked into a hospital. 

Trump Blasted for Putting Secret Service Agents at Risk During ‘Joy Ride’ around Walter Reed

By Steve Neavling

Secret Service agents are trained to take a bullet for the U.S. president. 

But on Sunday, agents faced an entirely different – and unnecessary – risk when they drove President Trump, infected with COVID-19, around Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.  

The jaunt drew strong criticism from current and former Secret Service agents, as well as doctors. 

“He’s not even pretending to care now,” one agent told The Washington Post.

“Where are the adults?” a former Secret Service member said. 

White House spokesman Judd Deere insisted “appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the president and all those supporting it,” adding that the trip “was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.”

Although Trump wore a mask during the jaunt around the hospital, doctors said face coverings are not perfect. 

Masks “help, but they are not an impenetrable force field,” tweeted Saad B. Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health.

Doctors said the Secret Service agents will have to be quarantined for 14 days. 

“They might get sick. They may die. For political theater,” James P. Phillips, a professor at George Washington University who is affiliated with Walter Reed, tweeted. “Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.”

Phillips described the risk of viral transmission “as high as it gets outside of medical procedures,” especially since the SUV is “hermetically sealed.”

“The irresponsibility is astounding,” Phillips tweeted. 

Inside a hospital, physicians and nurses wear extensive protective gear such as gowns, gloves, and N95 masks, said Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University.

“By taking a joy ride outside Walter Reed the president is placing his Secret Service detail at grave risk,” Reiner tweeted.