A growing list of people in President Donald Trump’s orbit revealed Friday that they had tested positive for the coronavirus after Trump himself acknowledged it early Friday morning overnight.
Trump adviser Hope Hicks was the first to receive word on Thursday prior to a fundraiser that the president attended.
First Lady Melania Trump also has the virus and was experiencing mild symptoms.
Additionally, Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien tested positive.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., was reported early Saturday to have tested positive, making him the third high profile GOP congressman over the past two days.
Most intriguing, though, was that two GOP senators on the Judiciary Committee—Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina—reported having it.
Lee had been present at a Rose Garden event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett earlier in the week.
As more cases emerged from those who were present and in close proximity, it appeared likely that the announcement was what some media were referring to as a ‘superspreader’ event.
Melania, Sen. Mike Lee and the Rev. John Jenkins, all of who have tested positive for Covid-19, were in close proximity to senators and White House officials at last Saturday's ACB announcement. https://t.co/FuaOoez2e2 pic.twitter.com/IAoWDXNMtI
— Taylor Miller Thomas, but spooky 👻 (@tmthomasdc) October 2, 2020
Lee also reportedly had met with the nominee and was present at socially distanced committee hearings, raising questions and alarms about the prospects of derailing the confirmation hearings set to begin on Oct. 12.
Barrett herself tested negative. However, Democrats in Congress were quick to call for the delay while the scope of the infection remained unclear.
It remained uncertain also how the contact-tracing process might unfold and who would be conducting it. However, the coincidental timing of the infections was sure to raise questions.
Last month, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer declared that “everything [was] on the table” in Democrats’ bid to block the conservative Barrett from assuming the seat previously occupied by the late liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
In 2018 it became clear that Sen Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and other powerful Democrats in Congress had actively coordinated with—and possibly coached—Christine Blasey Ford, whose unsubstantiated, 11th-hour rape accusations against SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh threatened to destroy him personally and shatter his confirmation hopes.
Feinstein also, coincidentally, may be among the members of Congress with the deepest ties to China, where the virus originated. Her husband, investor Richard Blum, has managed millions in trans-Pacific accounts and maintained friendly relations there.
In 2018, only weeks before the Kavanaugh debacle, it was also revealed that Feinstein’s longtime driver was a Chimese spy.