One of the White House reporters who has come down with coronavirus, Michael Shear of The New York Times, is pretty sure he was infected on the day President Trump announced his pick for the Supreme Court.
Nine days later, Shear has not heard one word from the White House about any contract tracing efforts.
“I have not been contacted by the White House,” Shear said on CNN’s “New Day” Monday morning. “Nobody from the White House has said ‘boo’ and asked anything about where I was or who I talked to or who else I might have infected.”
Shear said the lack of followup “just shows you that they’re not, you know, they’re not taking it seriously, at least as it pertains to themselves.”
“The president is, you know, following a completely different set of rules than everybody else in America,” he added.
Later on Monday morning, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced that she has tested positive for the virus. Like many of the other members of Trump’s inner circle who are infected, McEnany was at the September 26 Rose Garden event announcing the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
A senior administration official told CNN’s Jake Tapper that it “seems highly likely” the outbreak “originated at the SCOTUS announcement.”
Three journalists who work at the White House are known to be ill. All three individuals tested positive last Friday.
Shear has spoken publicly about his positive test, while the other two members of the media have not.
Shear was not in the Rose Garden for the Supreme Court announcement, but he was at the White House that day to obtain a Covid test, which was required before he boarded Air Force One to travel with the president to a post-announcement rally in Pennsylvania.
One of the unidentified reporters who tested positive was in the Rose Garden for the event.
On Monday, the White House Correspondents Association said there have been no further positive tests among the press corps since Friday, “though we know some are awaiting test results.”
The association said “we wish Kayleigh, the president and everyone else struggling with the virus a swift recovery.”
Members of the press corps have generally taken more precautions than White House officials during the Covid-19 crisis, as the president of the association, Zeke Miller, pointed out in an interview.
“If you look around, you know, travel on Air Force One, the press is always wearing a mask, and that has been a requirement of ours for some months now,” Miller said on Sunday’s “Reliable Sources.
Shear made a similar observation on Monday. He pointed out that the president chatted with reporters on Air Force One on the night of the Pennsylvania rally.
“He was not wearing a mask and he spoke to us for about ten minutes off the record,” Shear said.
Shear continues to file stories for The Times from home. He said on “New Day” that he is “feeling okay,” but that “this is definitely an uncomfortable thing to have. I wouldn’t recommend it to folks.”