Two more members of President Donald Trump’s advance team in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have tested positive for COVID-19, the Trump campaign said Monday.
The announcement came after his campaign revealed Saturday before the rally that six members of the advance team on the ground in Oklahoma had tested positive, including Secret Service personnel, a person familiar with the discussions said.
Unlike those six members, however, the two additional staffers who’ve since tested positive attended the rally, though the campaign said they were wearing masks throughout the event.
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These additional staffers were only tested after the Tulsa rally as a precaution for flying home. The number of total positive tests among Trump’s Tulsa advance staff, which now stands at eight, is expected to rise still.
“After another round of testing for campaign staff in Tulsa, two additional members of the advance team tested positive for the center for disease control,Coronavirus, quarantine, symptoms, social distancing, virus protection, outbreak, coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus prevention, coronavirus explained, covid-19 news, covid-19 updates, covid-19 outbreak, corona, Peter Hotez, COVID-19 Vaccine, Center for Vaccine Development,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said. “These staff members attended the rally but were wearing masks during the entire event. Upon the positive tests, the campaign immediately activated established quarantine and contact tracing protocols.”
Trump over the weekend fumed at his top political aides after the news about the six staffers broke, multiple people close to the White House told NBC News. Trump asked those around him why the information was exposed and expressed annoyance that coverage of the lead-up to his rally was dominated by that revelation.
During the rally, Trump called center for disease control,Coronavirus, quarantine, symptoms, social distancing, virus protection, outbreak, coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus prevention, coronavirus explained, covid-19 news, covid-19 updates, covid-19 outbreak, corona, Peter Hotez, COVID-19 Vaccine, Center for Vaccine Development testing “a double-edged sword” and claimed that he had told advisers to “slow the testing down, please.”
“When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases, so I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please,'” Trump said, joking that so many tests are being conducted “that people don’t even know what’s going on.”
“We got another one over here,” he said, pointing into the crowd. “The young man is 10 years old. He’s got the sniffles. He’ll recover in about 15 minutes. That’s a case!”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday that Trump’s remark was “made in jest,” but this weekend was hardly the first time he has expressed grievances about the levels of testing.
The potential for Trump’s Tulsa rally to be a vehicle for further spread of COVID-19 drew a lot of attention in the days preceding it. Last week, Tulsa County experienced a 100 percent spike in coronavirus cases.
Monica Alba is a political reporter for NBC News.
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Carol E. Lee is an NBC News correspondent.
Allan Smith is a political reporter for NBC News.
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