Oct 6, 2020 - Health

D.C. reports most new COVID cases since June amid White House outbreak

Photo illustration of Donald Trump with Coronavirus and White House

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Washington, D.C. reported 105 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the highest number of new infections since June.

Why it matters: A cluster of at least 20 cases has been tied to the White House, raising concerns that the virus may be spreading into the surrounding community.

Between the lines: Axios' Caitlin Owens notes that the White House is doing only minimal contact tracing, and has not sought help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, per the New York Times.

  • It has decided not to trace the contacts of attendees at last weekend’s Rose Garden event celebrating the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. At least eight people who attended that event have since tested positive.
  • It’s opting instead to only notify President's Trump’s contacts in the two days before his diagnosis — an extensive list.

Driving the news: Despite a set of recent incidents that could link the White House to new cases, Trump, who was hospitalized last week after a drop in his oxygen levels, tweeted that the coronavirus is less lethal than the flu. Facebook and Twitter have both taken action against the posts for spreading misleading information.

By the numbers: A total of 15,652 people have tested positive in D.C. since the pandemic began, according to district data.

  • 19-to-30-year-olds comprise the bulk of the infections at 23%, but most of the lethal cases are among residents over 60 years-old.
  • The disease has disproportionately affected Black/African American communities, with 469 deaths out of the total 631 in D.C.

Go deeper: The White House's reckless pandemic response

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