Sunday, September 19, 2021

the last book I ever read (I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year, excerpt thirteen)

from I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker:

The next morning, October 1, Hicks woke up feeling the same, so instead of rushing into work at 7:30 a.m. as usual, she went back to sleep, hoping to kick the bug, whatever it was. At about 11:00, she went into the White House to take her daily COVID test. The rapid test was positive, so she then took a more reliable PCR test. She got the results shortly after noon. Positive again. Hicks had COVID-19.

She immediately went home to self-isolate and informed Mark Meadows and other key officials about her diagnosis. Word spread quickly among White House staff, who were alarmed because of how much time Hicks spent around Trump and the seniormost members of the administration. Some staffers suddenly started wearing masks around the White House. Trump was scheduled to depart around 1:00 p.m. for another campaign fundraiser at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Meadows and other aides scrambled to change the flight manifest. Kayleigh McEnany had been scheduled to travel to Bedminister but was pulled from the trip because she had been in close contact with Hicks. Deputy press secretary Judd Deere traveled in her place.

Trump and Meadows did not want Hicks’s diagnosis to become public, and the president carried on with his New Jersey trip, where he was slated to raise $5 million for his reelection. The decision to proceed with the fundraiser after the president’s extended and recent close contact with an infected person flouted both the CDC recommendations and the advice the White House gave its own staff. What’s more, Trump himself wasn’t feeling well after sounding hoarse the night before. He could be a vector.

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