New Jersey begins contact tracing on attendees of Trump fundraiser

The state is now "assessing the level of contact they had with the president, and his staff and providing public health," according to department spokeswoman Dawn Thomas.

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump gestures during a campaign event in Fayetteville, North Carolina, September 19, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/TOM BRENNER)
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump gestures during a campaign event in Fayetteville, North Carolina, September 19, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/TOM BRENNER)
New Jersey state health officials are reaching out to attendees of a fundraiser that was also attended by US President Donald Trump just before his COVID-19 diagnosis in order to manually trace positive coronavirus cases originating from the event, according to ABC News.
ABC was forwarded an email by a supporter who took a photo with Trump at the event, after receiving the email from a contact tracing team. The supporter said around 60 people took photos with Trump that day, and in the photos Trump was not wearing a mask.
"The Somerset County Health Department and the New Jersey Department of Health understand that you attended an event... at which time you may have potentially been exposed to COVID-19," the email read, according to ABC.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) gave the health officials a list of over 200 attendees who were at the Bedminster Country Club the day in question, so that they may perform contact tracing.
New Jersey state is now "assessing the level of contact they had with the president and his staff, and providing public health," according to department spokeswoman Dawn Thomas.
ABC News reported that based on briefings between representatives of the president and New Jersey health officials, the health department has received "minimal cooperation" from the White House, which is assumingly trying to trace the virus within the capitol while the department is attempting to determine if it reached the community.
The report also states that the Trump-owned country club has not provided information for those on staff that day, as well as other members who attended the club that day. Apparently, one member told ABC that there was an invitational golf tournament that day, hosting around 180 competitors.
"This is significant in light of reports that there was a separate club event on site that day," the department said. "We have not yet received information on everyone who was there."
Health departments in other states have reportedly been tracking the movements of Trump event attendees in other states.
The contact tracing started after Trump announced that he has tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday morning.

TRUMP, 74, left the White House and was moved to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center near Washington just hours after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.
The New York Times said the decision to transport Trump to the hospital came after he had experienced difficulty breathing and his oxygen level had dropped, prompting his doctors to give him supplemental oxygen, according to two sources that the newspaper said were close to the White House.
However, Trump has downplayed the threat of the coronavirus pandemic from the outset, even as the disease has killed more than 209,000 Americans and hammered the US economy.
The president faced a fresh backlash on Tuesday for removing his mask when he returned to the White House and urging Americans not to fear the COVID-19 disease that put him in the hospital.
Trump arrived at the White House on Monday in a made-for-television spectacle in which he descended from his Marine One helicopter wearing a white surgical mask only to remove it as he posed, saluting and waving, on the mansion's South Portico.
"Don't let it dominate you. Don't be afraid of it," Trump said in a video after his return from Walter Reed, where he was treated for the disease caused by the coronavirus.
"I'm better, and maybe I'm immune – I don't know," he said, flanked by American flags and with the Washington Monument in the background. "Get out there. Be careful."
Trump, who was treated by an army of doctors and received experimental treatment, has repeatedly played down a disease that has killed more than a million people worldwide and left his own country with the highest death toll.

Reuters contributed to this report.



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