Johnson, other Republicans catch COVID-19
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 10/03/20, 02:03 pm
A number of GOP politicians and staff members tested positive for the coronavirus at about the same time as the president and his wife this week. They include former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, White House adviser Hope Hicks, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, and Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina. On Saturday, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., confirmed he had the virus but no symptoms. Because of the infections, the Senate plans to postpone its floor proceedings until Oct. 19 but will still hold a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett starting Oct. 12.
Where did they get it? Doctors have not pinpointed the exact time or place any of the GOP leaders, including President Donald Trump, were exposed to COVID-19. Christie, Conway, Hicks, Lee, Tillis, and Melania Trump attended the White House Rose Garden ceremony a week ago at which Trump announced Barrett’s nomination. Few attendees wore masks or practiced social distancing. University of Notre Dame President John Jenkins went to support Barrett, an alumna, and has since tested positive. He apologized to students and faculty this week for not wearing a mask at the event, saying, “I failed to lead by example, at a time when I’ve asked everyone else in the Notre Dame community to do so.” Those affected could have contracted the disease numerous other places, too—Johnson, for example, did not go to the Rose Garden ceremony.
Dig deeper: Read Julie Borg’s report in Beginnings about the possibility that Chinese scientists engineered the coronavirus in a lab.
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