Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward







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New round of coronavirus infections won’t hold back White House superspreaders

Politico reports:

Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday, a sign of the virus hitting the inner circle of the White House’s coronavirus task force with just 10 days left in the 2020 election.

Pence, who tested negative Saturday, will continue to headline campaign events in the coming days even though the vice president’s office acknowledged he “is considered a close contact” with Short.

Pence “will maintain his schedule in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel,” said Devin O’Malley, Pence’s press secretary. He said the decision was made in consultation with the White House Medical Unit. “Vice President Pence and Mrs. Pence both tested negative for COVID-19 today, and remain in good health,” O’Malley said.

Pence is scheduled to travel to North Carolina on Sunday and Wisconsin on Monday, part of a frenzied pace of rallies and other events for the vice president and his boss as they try to make the case for another term amid a third surge in U.S. coronavirus cases on their watch.

The diagnosis, just weeks after numerous other top White House aides were infected by the virus and President Donald Trump was hospitalized for Covid-19 treatment, is sure to inject new focus in the waning days of the 2020 race on the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic. Pence has led the White House’s coronavirus task force since late February, and has regularly served as the administration’s point man to engage with state leaders, reassure the public and argue the virus was under control.

Pence’s decision not to isolate and to continue traveling to public events offers fresh ammunition to Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, who accuse Trump of failing to take the virus seriously enough. White House staffers, including Short, are often seen without masks and Trump continues to hold massive rallies that flout state guidelines. [Continue reading…]

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