A White Home Lengthy in Denial Confronts Actuality


Ms. Hicks, a longtime aide who is likely one of the president’s closest advisers, was extra involved, colleagues stated. She took extra precautions than most others and typically wore a masks in conferences.

Colleagues stated that newcomers to Mr. Trump’s orbit, like Kayleigh McEnany, the White Home press secretary, by no means wore a masks in his presence, in what was interpreted by different workers members as an try to please the brand new boss.

Because the months progressed, there have been so few reported virus circumstances within the White Home — a valet to the president, a prime aide to the vp and Robert C. O’Brien, the nationwide safety adviser, all examined constructive — that aides to the president grew even much less involved.

By June, the month earlier than Mr. O’Brien tested positive, the White Home had already stopped conducting temperature checks for individuals coming into the complicated. Solely these aides who had been interacting instantly with the president acquired every day assessments. Masks remained uncommon sightings.

The angle was widespread within the administration. On the Justice Division in Could, Lawyer Common William P. Barr informed a New York Occasions Journal reporter who arrived in a masks for an interview that “I’m not going to contaminate you,’’ after which sat by as an aide recommended, twice, that the reporter take the masks off. The reporter did.

Even on Friday, solely hours after the president had introduced at 1 a.m. on Twitter that he and the primary woman had examined constructive, the White Home was making an attempt to challenge that it was enterprise as standard. “We had a fantastic jobs report this morning,” Mr. Meadows informed reporters on the White Home. “Sadly, that’s not what all people is concentrated on this morning.”

Nonetheless, they made each effort to hold on with a nothing-to-see-here-folks mentality.

Mr. Meadows, who had been in shut contact with the president in latest days, arrived at work and not using a masks, and continued to assert {that a} masks was not obligatory as a result of he had examined unfavorable. (Mr. Meadows wore a masks when he accompanied Mr. Trump, additionally in a masks, to Walter Reed Nationwide Army Medical Heart on Friday night.)

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