- Nov 2005
A CPAC attendee infected with coronavirus attended multiple days of the conference on a gold-level VIP ticket as well as a Friday night Shabbat dinner associated with the event, according to people familiar with the situation.
The infected attendee was a CPAC regular who made a hobby of meeting high-profile conference speakers and taking photographs with them. His gold-level ticket gave him access to a private lounge directly outside the green room for speakers on the conference’s main stage.
As of early Monday evening, event organizers have contacted “just over a dozen” people who they have identified as having direct contact with the infected attendee, according to Ian Walters, spokesman for the American Conservative Union, which organizes the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. By Sunday evening, he said, the ACU had also been in touch with a little under 100 conference-goers who might have been in the same room as the infected person.
The ACU’s handling of the case has led to grumbling from attendees, particularly among a prominent group of pro-Trump agitators who have complained of a two-tiered system: VIPs have been notified directly even to be told they did not interact with the infected man, while ordinary rank-and-file conference-goers have by and large been left to wonder, receiving only vaguer information in mass emails. Meanwhile, critics have noted the irony of prominent officials downplaying the outbreak even as the disease may silently have been spreading among the Trump administration’s own members and supporters.
The infected attendee — whose name is being withheld — had contact with lawmakers who subsequently had interactions with President Donald Trump, though there is no indication the virus spread to the lawmakers or to Trump. The president declined to say whether he’d been tested during a news briefing early Monday evening, while the vice president said he personally had not.
Walters said he did not know whether any lawmakers other than Ted Cruz, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar or Doug Collins have been contacted about potential exposure at CPAC. Both Gaetz and Collins had interacted with the president in between their potential exposure and being informed of it; both have said they are not showing signs of infection, but are quarantining themselves out of an abundance of caution.
There’s no indication yet that an infected person with gold-level status spread the disease to others, but some Trump supporters say VIPs are getting special treatment.
NONE of this surprises me.
Not the situation where the VIPs get informed but nobody else.
Not the hypocrisy of the right-wing trying to belittle the importance of the situation, while at the same time the political leaders who are likely getting high level briefings have put themselves in overly cautious quarantine.