In Big 'Blow,' Outbreak Tied to White House Continues

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien is positive, as are 3 White House reporters
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2020 7:30 AM CDT
More Positives: Trump Campaign Manager, 3 WH Journos
In this Oct. 13, 2018, file photo, Bill Stepien, center, steps off Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., after traveling with President Trump to Richmond, Ky., for a rally.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

On Friday afternoon, Trump campaign chief Bill Stepien put out a statement announcing, in response to the president being diagnosed with COVID-19, any near-future campaign events that would have involved Trump or members of the first family have been moved online, per Politico. Now, Stepien has his own announcement: He has COVID-19, too. The Hill reports the 42-year-old, who's said to have received his diagnosis the same day Trump did, has "mild flulike symptoms" and is now in self-isolation. He's expected to keep doing his campaign work from home. The Hill calls Stepien's illness a further "blow" to Trump's struggling campaign and notes that it "reflects just how quickly and how far the highly contagious virus spread among the president's top aides" and others.

Meanwhile, the White House outbreak has spread to the reporters there. Per a White House Correspondents' Association memo, three journalists tested positive Friday; a White House staffer who works with the media has also been infected. One of the reporters, Michael Shear of the New York Times, tells the Washington Post he was at the White House on Saturday (though not at the ceremony announcing Amy Coney Barrett as Trump's Supreme Court nominee) and part of the press pool at Trump's Pennsylvania rally that night. Shear says he traveled to and from the rally on Air Force One, and that Trump didn't wear a mask while speaking to reporters. The two other journalists haven't been IDed. Meanwhile, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who'd helped Trump prep for last Tuesday's debate, says he was tested Friday morning and is awaiting his own results Saturday. "I feel fine and have no symptoms," he tweeted. (More coronavirus stories.)

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