Oct 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

White House outlines health guidelines following Trump's return

Marine One carrying President Trump back to the White House on Oct. 6.
Marine One carrying President Trump back to the White House on Oct. 5. Photo: Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

The White House said Tuesday it has had "hospital-grade disinfection policies" since March, as it outlined the residence's health and safety precautions in a new memo that follows President Trump's return from Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday.

Why it matters: The memo comes amid a botched response to the cluster of cases within the White House, which jeopardized the health of the president and his staff and set a poor example in a country that's already done a terrible job handling the virus, writes Axios' Caitlin Owens.

Details: Staff in the residence who have direct contact with the president and first lady will wear full PPE and be tested daily, while support staff will be tested every 48 hours.

  • Residence staff in March were given "sanitization and filtration systems" to use in their homes "to further protect them and their family members" from the virus.
  • Staff members were required to wear a mask "at all times" starting in April, the memo says.

What they're saying: The White House says it has led workshops for workers to have their concerns addressed, significantly reduced staff, and has encouraged teleworking as much as possible. Sanitization and filtration systems have also been installed.

  • "The health of Residence staff members and their families are a paramount concern to the First Family," the memo reads.
  • "In addition to support from the Medical Unit, the Residence has hired independent health consultants who are available to check on staff and their families, facilitating ancillary testing as needed."
  • "The Residence also hired a 'well-being' consultant, which staff members can speak to anonymously, specifically to focus on mental health concerns."

Where it stands: White House aides have advised Trump to avoid the Oval Office and have made arrangements for him to work in the Diplomatic Reception Room, two White House officials tell Axios.

Go deeper: With Trump's return, risks rise in the West Wing

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