President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis set off a scramble to contact and trace thousands of people across at least half a dozen states, a public health crisis fueled by the White House’s downplaying simple pandemic containment tools.
The possibility that the president and his White House entourage were traveling superspreaders is a nightmare scenario for officials in Minnesota, Ohio, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — four states where Trump rallied, debated or fundraised in the past week.
The White House itself may have become a nexus of infection in the Washington, D.C., area and beyond, hosting events like last Saturday’s celebration of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. At many Trump events, masks were a rarity, social distancing minimal. Video of the Barrett event, for instance, shows people shaking hands, hugging and standing close together.
“They’re way behind the curve in trying to catch all the folks that the president has