34 people in Trump's orbit have tested positive for the coronavirus, leaked FEMA report says, as White House staffers say they are scared to go back to work
President Donald Trump takes off his mask after returning to the White House from Walter Reed Medical Center on October 5, 2020. Win McNamee / Getty
According to an internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 34 White House employees and contacts have been infected with COVID-19 in the past few days, ABC News reported Thursday.
The memo was leaked after several reports said White House employees were afraid to get back to work after President Donald Trump returned home while he was still ill with the virus.
The document suggests the true extent of the White House outbreak, which was first revealed last week when Trump adviser Hope Hicks tested positive.
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34 White House employees and other contacts have been infected with the coronavirus in the past few days. This comes from a Federal Emergency Management Agency memo that ABC News received Thursday.
The memo shows the true extent of the White House outbreak, first revealed last week with news that Hope Hicks, a senior adviser to the President, tested positive.
Since then, both the President and the First Lady have been infected with the coronavirus, as have numerous other government, congressional and military officials.
Many of the people infected in the past few days attended the September 26 event at the White House to announce Trump's appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
The FEMA memo leak came after several reports said White House employees were afraid to return to work after Trump left Walter Reed Hospital to continue his home treatment for the coronavirus. The president is still sick and contagious.
During the pandemic, Trump tried to downplay the virus and rarely wore a face mask. He even made fun of Joe Biden for regularly wearing a face mask during the first presidential debate, just two days before Trump tested positive for COVID-19.
When he returned to the White House on Monday, Trump posed for photos and removed his face mask, even though he was still infected with the virus.
Trump's relaxed stance on the virus has made many employees fearful of work, according to multiple reports.
"It's crazy that he is going back to the White House and putting his employees' health at risk if we learn of new cases among senior executives," a White House source told Axios on Tuesday. "This place is a cesspool."
A White House official told The Atlantic that since Trump tested positive he was "just waiting and worrying about my friends and their families."
Olivia Troye, a former adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, told Times Radio in the UK on Tuesday that White House staff are "afraid" for their lives.
"You know, for my colleagues in the White House, I know they're scared," said Troye. "I've had conversations with some people who are still around. Their bodies may react differently to COVID."
"COVID is a very unpredictable virus, and people react to it in very different ways. I know they are afraid and afraid. And they must be embarrassed to some extent by what they see because this is this President and the administration they currently support and in which they work. "
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