Jerusalem24 – President Donald Trump returned Monday to a very different White House than the one he left at the end of last week. Instead of an office busy with pre-election activity, the West Wing has become a ground zero of viral infection. At least 11 of the President’s aides and allies have either contracted the virus or are working from home. Entire offices sit empty as Trump’s aides try to isolate him in the residence and out of the West Wing.
Mistrust has been widespread in the White House with several aides raising questions about whether they had been put in harm’s way over the past week. Accusations of alleged mismanagement directed at the White House chief of staff Mark Meadows have have been spoken during one of the gravest presidential crises in a generation. All while there were no contact tracing efforts and doubts on whether testing and safety procedures were efficient.
No relief was found when Trump returned to the White House on Monday. As he arrived at the White House, his first act was to take his mask off and stuff it into his pocket; even though he is still infected with coronavirus and could infect those nearby.
“We’re going back. We’re going back to work. We’re gonna be out front,” said Trump in a video done upon his return. “As your leader I had to do that. I knew there’s danger to it, but I had to do it.” Although four hours earlier his doctors stated he was not yet “out of the woods” in his fight against the virus, Trump kept saying his illness was in the past: “Now I’m better and maybe I’m immune? I don’t know. But don’t let it dominate your lives.”
In the White House, where Trump was speaking without a mask, an already sized down staff has been made reduced even more after the President and first lady both came down with coronavirus. At least one residence staffer who was in direct contact with the President tested positive over the weekend.
The White House refused to say how many staffers were isolating because of exposure to press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, senior adviser Hope Hicks or the President himself. Trump’s assistant Nick Luna and two press aides have also tested positive. All are remaining at home.