Oct 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy

N.J. governor: Health officials have contacted 184 people from Trump fundraiser

 U.S. President Donald Trump meets with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (L) in the Oval Office of the White House April 30, 2020 in Washington, DC.

President Trump meets with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in the Oval Office of the White House on April 30.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) blasted President Trump and his staff on Monday, saying they "acted recklessly" by attending last week's fundraiser event in Bedminster after learning they had been exposed to the coronavirus.

Driving the news: The Republican National Committee sent New Jersey health officials a list on Friday of at least 206 people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus at the fundraiser, which Trump attended after learning that his close aide Hope Hicks had tested positive. Murphy said on Monday that state health officials had contacted 184 of the 206 people.

  • "This is on a national scale," the governor added, noting that a "significant" number of individuals on the list were from out of state.
  • Murphy said that health officials were also in the process of contacting 19 employees who were working at the golf club during the fundraising event.
  • There are mixed accounts about how much the president socially distanced while in New Jersey, per ABC News. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the golf club fundraiser had been deemed "safe by a White House operations."

What he's saying: "This is not a matter of politics, but a matter of humanity. But this is also a matter of leadership by example. And it is clear that the president and his staff acted recklessly in coming to New Jersey in the first place, knowing that they had been exposed to someone with a confirmed positive test," Murphy said in a news briefing.

  • Murphy said officials are encouraging attendees and employees who may have been exposed to self-quarantine and get tested no earlier than five to seven days after the event.
  • Murphy said they were aware of at least two "potential violations" of state-issued guidelines, including having too many people in an indoor area and serving a buffet-style meal. The governor said it would be up to the attorney general to determine whether any guidelines were violated.

"Based on the information that the [Department of Health] shared with attendees, the CDC feels we have completed the initial outreach and will standby to assist further if needed," Murphy said.

  • "We have particular concern for [golf club staff], considering the potential for spread within our communities. This is where they live. This is very much a race against the clock. As with everything, the Department of Health treats this data and information with the utmost protection."
  • "We certainly hope and pray fervently that no confirmed cases come out of the event in Bedminster, and we continue to send our best wishes and prayers to the president, the first lady, former Gov. Chris Christie and all who have tested positive over the weekend."

The bottom line: Murphy said that state officials "need to see a more robust federal partnership" to combat the outbreak.

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