President Donald Trump appears ready to move on from a still-raging coronavirus pandemic — skipping the first White House task force briefing in months and moving the event out of the White House itself. But the measures meant to protect him from catching the virus have scaled up dramatically.
As he seeks to insert rival Joe Biden’s health into the presidential campaign, Trump has voiced escalating concern about how it would appear if he contracted coronavirus and has insisted on steps to protect himself, even as he refuses to wear a mask in public and agitates for large campaign rallies where the virus could spread.
When he travels to locations where the virus is surging, every venue the President enters is inspected for potential areas of contagion by advance security and medical teams, according to people familiar with the arrangements. Bathrooms designated for the President’s use are scrubbed and sanitized before he arrives. Staff maintain a close accounting of who will come into contact with the President to ensure they receive tests.
While the White House phases out steps such as temperature checks and required mask-wearing in the West Wing — changes meant to signal the country is moving on — those around the President still undergo regular testing. And even as Trump attempts to put the pandemic behind him by encouraging reopening and downplaying the new surge, there are signs of the still-raging pandemic even within his orbit. [Continue reading…]