At least eight confirmed COVID-19 infections have been noted among people who attended last week’s White House event, during which President Donald Trump officially announced his Supreme Court nominee.
Trump, at a Sept. 26 event in the Rose Garden attended by around 150 people, nominated Amy Coney Barrett to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant after Ruth Bader Ginsburg died.
To date, eight people, including the president and first lady, are confirmed to be infected with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Former White House adviser Kellyanne Conway was the most recent attendee to announce, in a statement on Twitter late Friday, that she had tested positive.
“Tonight I tested positive for COVID-19. My symptoms are mild (light cough) and I’m feeling fine. I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians,” she wrote. “As always, my heart is with everyone affected by this global pandemic.”
Two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who were also present at the White House event, announced on Friday they tested positive for the virus—Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). Both senators said they plan to undergo a 10-day quarantine, set to conclude by the time Barrett’s confirmation hearings are scheduled to begin on Oct. 12.
Another attendee, University of Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins, announced on Friday that he tested positive for the virus and was in quarantine.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who also attended the Rose Garden event, on Saturday confirmed in a tweet that he, too, has tested positive.
A White House journalist present at the Rose Garden event last Saturday also tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the third journalist working at the White House to become infected, according to a letter by Zeke Miller, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association.
Contact tracing is underway to find out if any other journalists, who often work in close quarters, may have been exposed to the virus.
“The White House Medical Unit is beginning the process of contact tracing for these cases,” Miller said. “We do not yet have an estimated time of completion for that process.”
Barrett and Attorney General William Barr, also present at the Rose Garden event, tested negative for the virus on Friday.
Other close contacts of the Trumps also tested negative for the virus on Friday. They include the couple’s youngest son, Barron, Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
Trump has been hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Center and will work from there in the coming days, the White House said.
Mimi Ngyuen Ly contributed to this report.
Note: this article has been updated to reflect Gov. Christie’s announcement that he has tested positive.