Unforgivable Lapse: Amy Coney Barrett Event Seen As Height Of White House Virus Negligence

Unforgivable Lapse: Amy Coney Barrett Event Seen As Height Of White House Virus Negligence

On Saturday evening, amid speculation about the timeline around Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, The White House released a couple of pictures purportedly showing the president immersed in paperwork at Walter Reed.

The visuals came as Trump posted a video aimed at dispelling rumors that his condition may have deteriorated.

It wasn’t immediately clear what Trump would be signing over the weekend. Some contend the visuals (below) actually depict the president putting his name on blank sheets of paper with one of his famous oversized Sharpies.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Apparently, there was some evidence to suggest the pictures were taken just minutes apart, which, if true, gives them a contrived feel for reasons that should be obvious.

White House physician Sean Conley, whose Saturday press conference included what he later claimed was an erroneous reference to an alternative date for Trump’s diagnosis, described “substantial progress” on Saturday evening. “While not yet out of the woods, the team remains cautiously optimistic”, he said, adding that the president “spent most of the afternoon conducting business”.

On Sunday, during the latest update, Conley and other members of the president’s medical team indicated Trump may be discharged as soon as Monday. His condition, they said, was stable and/or improving.


Conley did confirm that Trump received supplementary oxygen on Friday and revealed that “transient” drops in the president’s oxygen saturation prompted doctors to put him on dexamethasone.

Trump was reportedly upset with Mark Meadows for characterizing his condition on Friday as “very concerning”. AP described Saturday evening’s tweeted video message from the president as “an effort to prove his vitality”. Trump also “authorized… Rudy Giuliani to release a statement on his behalf”, AP said.

Nick Luna, a close aide, has tested positive, becoming the latest in a string of Trump associates and GOP lawmakers to contract the virus. It is now all but certain that last weekend’s ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett, conducted with little in the way of containment protocols and seemingly no regard for social distancing, was the source of some infections.

“Few people at the outdoor ceremony wore masks or kept their social distance, but experts say the more risky time spent that day was at a reception inside the White House, where Trump met with a smaller group of guests”, The New York Times notes, adding that although “it is not clear when exactly the attendees who later tested positive were infected… it can take several days after exposure for the virus to be detected by a test”.

Trump traveled all over the country in that interim period, making campaign stops and holding fundraisers in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and New Jersey, not to mention debating Joe Biden on Tuesday.

There’s little point in dancing around the issue or otherwise avoiding the obvious. It’s perfectly legitimate (and in many cases wholly desirable) to interpret events generously in the interest of ensuring one doesn’t assert something that could later be characterized as an example of senseless partisan bias. But the inescapable reality is this: The White House put national security at risk by failing to observe simple COVID-19 safety protocols during the festivities for Amy Coney Barrett.

The Times piece (linked above) shows a number of visuals from the indoor event. Just one mask is visible, and the person wearing it doesn’t appear to be an official or even a guest.

In addition to Trump, the first lady, Thom Tillis, Mike Lee, and Chris Christie (all of whom later tested positive), the indoor, mask-free glad-handing included William Barr, Ben Sasse, Pat Cipollone, and Alex Azar, among others. Mike Pence attended the event, and so did a hodgepodge of other high level officials.

In case it isn’t clear enough, flagrantly disregarding virus protocol at an event featuring that many key officials and lawmakers counts as gross negligence. There is no other way to describe the situation. It put national security at risk by chancing simultaneous infections for the president, the vice president, and the attorney general.

Amy Coney Barrett didn’t have to worry, though. She was diagnosed months ago, according to reports, and her recovery was long since complete by the time she showed up to accept Trump’s nomination.


8 thoughts on “Unforgivable Lapse: Amy Coney Barrett Event Seen As Height Of White House Virus Negligence

  1. This is indeed gross negligence. How many people have to die for these folks to take this seriously? At this point, they’re on their 5th DUI and still going out to the bar, getting hammered, and driving home.

    1. Well said. Do we get to question the new Supreme Court nominee’s judgement for the roll because she didn’t wear a mask. It hasn’t been proven that you can’t get reinfected.

  2. There is a proven, very high correlation between openness to new experience and political identity: the more right-leaning the individual, the more closed-minded they are.

    We learn, of course, through experience. That doesn’t mean those on the right are incapable of learning, just that the amount of evidence required to change their thinking or behavior is overwhelming. They can’t, in other words, take a hint. We have seen this phenomenon with climate change, where survey respondents are far more likely to believe it exists after they’ve experienced a natural disaster.

    How many more GOPlague events will be required before Capitol Hill achieves herd immunity to the belief that they are impervious to virus? My bet is, quite a few more; they are so ideologically dug in, that they will sweep any amount of personal horror under the rug in order to stay on message.

    It’ll be interesting to see how many news cycles this story dominates. How’re they gonna manufacture an even bigger distraction? No doubt some carefully-planned October Surprise is sidelined right now, awaiting a quiet moment, but can it really compare?

  3. Will they ever stop lying. Just one, new lie is that the president was immersed in paperwork, spending most of the afternoon conducting business. What? I guess he also took an intelligence briefing, too?

    Our nation is in an epic decline. I never suspected it would happen so soon as the events of the last few years. I was hoping we’d be able to ride things out much longer. Empires and hegemons collapse from within. The event last Saturday is a microcosm within a macrocosm.

  4. I was thinking that the macho denial and coverup of the football brain trauma science was the same type of dynamic as is in play now. Similar with the denial/lack of concern for soldiers afflicted with PTSD. It’s a manifestation of toxic machismo that lies deep within mainstream culture.

    1. It’s also a sign that they believe governing isn’t anything more than lying. Concocting a lie is also much easier than making and implementing policy. The Constitution and rule of law are for suckers and losers.

Speak your mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.