Donald Trump’s calendar for October 1 showed a typical day for the president: time to tweet in the morning, and a trip to his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf course in the afternoon to raise money for his cash-strapped election campaign.
But from the public point of view, there was a crisis building. A small number of officials, including Trump in the White House, learned that morning that his closest aide, Hope Hicks, had tested positive for the novel Coronavirus.
Some people inside or outside the White House were told, and were never seriously thought of, to cancel the Bedminster fundraiser, hoping to raise $ 5 million – where more donors gave, than they would for one person. Accordingly came close to Trump, who attended.
The White House says the fundraiser was deemed safe. But there were indications that all was not well.
For one thing, some allies who were in close proximity with Hicks on Wednesday – including White House press secretary Kayle McNee – were ostensibly removed and replaced for the presidential helicopter.
Trump then candidly told reporters gathered for the helicopter takeoff, leaving behind his usual back-and-out and cutting an unusually wide path to proceed from the Oval Office. He also avoided reporters waiting under the wing of Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews and during a flight heading to New Jersey and back.
At the event, Trump customized the usual photo line for VIP donors – who gave between $ 50,000 and $ 250,000. Inside a spacious room, the President stood in front of the President’s flag and an American flag, with tape on the ground, representing a “Do Not Cross” line of six feet from the guests.
One participant recalled a few things: Trump made small talk, and he did not wear a mask. He also cut short his visit, the second time the president was hurrying through his events.
After returning to the White House, Day took an even more profound turn for Trump as he announced that he had tested positive for the virus.
Just 26 hours after leaving the fundraiser, he landed at Marine One to be admitted to Walter Reed Hospital. White House aides, familiar with Trump’s germs and fear of spreading to hospitals, say it is a sign that doctors are concerned about his condition.
The impact on the president and the White House has been profound. With Trump’s political life less than the first four weeks after the election, his re-election campaign, which is already struggling for a flood of plans and money rallies – Trump’s political life against Riden.
Inside the White House and his campaign, some desperate allies lose the election and become sicker than the president has known. Many officials said they were not given more information about their condition than ordinary Americans, who were left practically in the dark the day after their diagnosis.
Trump was given an experimental “antibody cocktail” by White House doctors, but not much information has been released, including whether his blood-oxygen levels are dropping or even if he has a fever.
It was little imagined on Thursday morning. This account of the day infecting Hicks, learned by Trump, is based on interviews with several administration and campaign officials, some of whom described anonymity to describe the details behind one of the most important days of the Trump presidency. Had requested
in the darkness
Hicks’ illness came as a surprise to some small group of information Thursday morning for his diagnosis, even before making a night trip with him. Hicks felt ill during Trump’s trip to Minnesota, and when Air Force One landed in Duluth, he sat in the plane’s private office, while other employees attended a campaign rally.
Some White House aides on the trip were more focused on the president, concerned about his lethargic behavior. His rally speech that evening was less than an hour long; Trump has regularly spoken more than twice during recent campaign stops.
Returning to Washington, Hicks waited until all other staff members ejected Air Force One before exiting the aircraft – limiting possible risk and protecting his privacy. On Thursday morning, only a few associates – and the chairman – were told that Hicks actually tested positive.
The secrecy came under a will from White House aides to shield Hicks, who has gained a level of celebrity when working for Trump – intended or not. He is believed by many in Trump’s inner circle to be both a close personal friend and a victim of unfair media scrutiny. During her first term in the White House, in 2017, she transitioned to her then boyfriend – former staff secretary Rob Porter, alleging that he had physically abused his former wives.
As one of the president’s most trusted and loyal allies, he is often by her side.
According to McEnany, White House officials were press secretaries in the dark about Hicks’ position. He also held Thursday morning talks with White House journalists as part of a contact-tracing effort in the West-Wing.
‘Two standards of health’
During the briefing, McEnany defended the Trump campaign for staging rallies, where social disturbances are routinely ignored, arguing that the media set similar expectations for larger protests against racial injustice needed.
“There actually seem to be two standards of health in this country, one for Trump supporters and the other for everyone.”
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said he learned of Hicks’ positive test as Trump left in Marine One, bound for his fundraiser.
“We had actually drawn some people who were traveling and were in close contact,” Meadows said.
But there was little discussion of ending the president’s Bedminster visit, where he was expected to raise $ 5 million for a campaign facing an unexpected shortage of cash.
“It was considered safe to go for president,” McKenney said on Friday. “He did away socially, it was an outdoor event.”
CDC guidelines state that people who have been in close contact with infected people, as Trump was with Hicks, should stay home for 14 days and maintain social distance from others at all times. It is not known whether Trump was tested before leaving for his fundraiser.
At Bedminster, guests began arriving at 12:30 pm, with about 60 people in a VIP cocktail party-style event, none of them wearing masks, according to one person. The crowd was later around 150 for Trump’s remarks.
Those who donated between $ 35,000 and $ 250,000 had to undergo a nasal swab test for coronovirus which gives results within 15 minutes. According to the Republican official, top donors will have access to a roundtable discussion and a photo with the president.
As soon as the President arrived, VIP ticket holders who took tickets invited to take a photo for between $ 50,000 and $ 250,000.
The donors entered the room and were instructed to stand 6 feet away from Trump at all times. The president made short talk, the person joining said. All employees of the Republican Party and Trump Bedminster employees wore masks, the person said. The president did not wear a mask at any point during the event.
Comedian Joe Piscopo was among the donors who participated. He described the incident as “very social-distraction”, disputing a New York Times report that the president wore.
“He was at the top of his game,” Piscopo said. “He looked strong and looked great.”
End of normalcy
The rally will be one of the final moments of normalization for Trump before he is confronted by a virus that has halted the final year of his presidency.
Within minutes of the president’s return to the White House on Thursday evening, a Bloomberg News reporter was questioned by colleagues about Hales’ health – the first time some had heard of his condition.
Bloomberg reported Hicks’ infection earlier that evening.
Also on Thursday afternoon, some people in the White House became aware of the potential risk. Employees, including a White House press aide who later tested positive for the virus – were working at his desk, not wearing masks.
Hicks’ revelation renewed concern among allies that Trump had shut down his game in recent times. It was decided by the president to undergo the polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, coronavirus test, which is believed by White House doctors to be more reliable than the top officials of the rapid test, and regularly in the White House See you
However, the PCR test is more invasive, and the president has previously complained about how deep the nose is – remarking that “there was nothing pleasant about it.”
Interview with hanavata
As Trump awaited his results, he decided to continue with a premeditated phone interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity. Live on air, she announced that she and first lady Melania Trump were awaiting the results of the coronovirus test due to Hicks’ positive result.
“I just went out with a test,” Trump said. “I will see that – because we spend a lot of time. And the first lady walked out with just one test. Therefore, whether we quarantine, or whether we have them, I do not know. “
Around midnight, the results arrived: the president and the first lady had contracted the virus. Trump and his communications staff settled on a tweet from the president to find out how to reveal the news to the American people and then issued a memo from a White House physician confirming the diagnosis.
“We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately,” Trump wrote on Friday at 12:54. “We’ll get through this toilet!”
It was the last time the American public would hear from its president for nearly 18 hours when, after Walter Reed arrived at the National Military Medical Center, he posted a video on Twitter.
“I think I’m doing well,” he said. “But we are going to make sure things work.”
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