Oct 9, 2020 - Health

Washington's big contact tracing problem

Photo illustration of Donald Trump with Coronavirus and White House
Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The D.C. Health Department is trying to jump-start contact tracing efforts around the White House's coronavirus outbreak. Tracing has been inadequate so far even as cases spread deeper into the city.

The big picture: The White House has decided not to move forward with recommended public health protocols of contact tracing and testing since President Trump tested positive for the virus. 

The state of play: Tracing has been done for people who had direct contact with Trump, White House spokesman Judd Deere told the Washington Post.

On Capitol Hill, there's also no formalized contact tracing program in place, even as lawmakers themselves test positive.

  • Two infected staffers in Rep. Doug Lamborn’s (R-Colo.) office were told to not disclose to roommates they may have been exposed, WSJ reports.

The bottom line: The White House’s refusal to contact trace is “a missed opportunity to prevent additional spread,” Emily Wroe, a co-leader of a contact-tracing team at Partners in Health, told Nature.

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