[guest post by Dana]
Responding to inquiries about why President Trump had not self-quarantined nor tested for coronavirus after having had contact with the Brazilian press secretary, who was confirmed to have tested positive for the virus, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham issued this statement:
“Both the president and vice president had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time,” Grisham said. “To reiterate CDC guidelines, there is currently no indication to test patients without symptoms, and only people with prolonged close exposure to confirmed positive cases should self-quarantine.”
We were informed two days ago that the President was tested, and that the results were negative. In the meantime, Sens. Lindsey Graham and Rick Scott, who were also in contact with the Brazilian entourage, chose to self-quarantine after learning of the aide testing positive for the virus. Graham was also tested for the virus, as a safeguard, and test results were negative.
This morning we are now learning that Grisham has self-quarantined because of her contact with the Brazilian contingency:
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham is self-quarantining after having contact with individuals from a Brazilian delegation while at Mar-a-Lago who have since tested positive for coronavirus, a White House official confirmed.
“Out of an abundance of caution, she is working from home,” the official told The Post.
Grisham’s move came after interacting with Fabio Wajngarten, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s press secretary who tested positive for COVID-19, during a visit to President Trump’s Palm Beach, Florida complex earlier this month.
“Yes I’m working from home and yes I feel good,” Grisham wrote in a text message to CNBC.
“With my close proximity to the President, it’s better to be safe than sorry,” she added.
Mar-a-Lago, where the average age of its visitor is a reported 80 years, and in spite of all its spectacular glamor and exclusivity, has become somewhat of a “gilded petri dish” for the coronavirus:
The handshakes, diplomatic huddles, cozy VIP photo-ops and meet-and-greets at Mar-a-Lago became a potential nexus for other cases — the mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, tested positive after being in the same area as the Brazilian officials. Since last weekend, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez and several Republican lawmakers close to the White House — Rep. Matt Gaetz and Sens. Rick Scott and Lindsey Graham — all self-quarantined as a precaution.
The dark cloud over Mar-a-Lago, where Trump often spends holidays and hosts foreign leaders, threatens to mar its reputation as a social destination for elites after a mountain of headlines about an invisible disease spreading through the complex.
Mar-a-Lago closed on Monday for a deep-cleaning:
An email sent to Mar-a-Lago members said “a thorough deep cleaning of the main house, guest rooms, and dining area” was being done, but noted that “the beach club will remain open.”
The note also said that sanitation of “all other areas will follow in the days to come.”
Better late than never, eh?