Monday, October 05, 2020


This seems like a good thing:
The White House provided New Jersey health officials with a list of at least 206 people who attended President Trump’s fundraiser events in Bedminster, N.J., last Thursday, officials said on Sunday.

The New Jersey Department of Health said in a joint statement with the Somerset County Department of Health that it reached out to all of the individuals who attended the events hours before the president tested positive for COVID-19.

The agencies said they received the list from the White House and the management of the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster.

The state health department made attendees “aware of possible exposure and recommend that they self-monitor for symptoms and quarantine if they were in close contact with the President and his staff.”
But as another story reports, the White House -- or the club or whoever provided the list -- could have done a lot better.
The Republican National Committee provided New Jersey officials with a list of the names and email addresses of at least 206 guests. The list "was not sufficient" for contact tracing because tracers need phone numbers to reach people quickly and addresses to understand what communities are affected....
Th White House is taking charge of this part of the process:
"From a quick scan of the list, many of these folks were from out of state," [a] source [from the administration of Governor Phil Murphy] said, so the White House medical unit said it would take the lead on reaching out to attendees. New Jersey officials emailed all the guests, providing them with steps to take and health resources if they are in New Jersey.
It is unclear how many attendees the White House has officially traced, and New Jersey isn't getting a clear answer.

"The outlying issue here is the transparency of the medical unit at the White House," the Murphy administration source said. "They need to provide information to every state so that they know how many people at the VIP reception got on a plane and came home, and just reading some of the national stories, it looks like folks [in other states] are having similar transparency issues to what we’re experiencing with the feds."
And here's another problem with that list of attendees:
The list also did not include workers at the Bedminster club, the source said.
The state is trying to contact the workers.
The state Department of Health, in partnership with the Somerset County Department of Health, received a list of around 20 names of staff members who worked during the fundraiser, and is calling these workers to make sure they take the necessary precautions, the source said.
This story doesn't make clear where that list came from, but it doesn't appear to have come from the White House -- whose current resident owns the Bedminster club.

I'm pleased that health authorities are getting in touch with these workers. One concern I have is with the media, which, so far, doesn't appear interested in the fate of those who worked at the Bedminster fundraiser and other events the president attended before he announced his diagnosis. Every list I've seen of positive cases has been limited to event attendees.

Unlike the elitist attendees, many of them won't get top-quality medical care. If the Trump superspreader tour leads to fatalities, they're probably more likely to be in this population rather than among the swells. They should not be ignored.

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