New Jersey is contact tracing 206 people who were exposed to Donald Trump at the Bedminster fundraiser he attended eight hours before he confirmed his COVID infection
- Trump held a fundraiser at his Bedminster golf club on Thursday afternoon
- Guests had paid up to $250,000 for the chance to get close to the president
- Trump left at 4:40pm; by 12:54am he would confirm his positive COVID test
- On Sunday night New Jersey authorities said they had a list of attendees
- Most said they were never close to the president, and if so only momentarily
The president began suffering breathing difficulties 24 hours after the fundraiser and was given oxygen before being taken to the Walter Reed hospital, where he remains.
The top tickets for Thursday afternoon’s event cost $250,000 and included a roundtable discussion and a photo-op with the president.
Others paid tens of thousands of dollars to mingle for several hours with Trump and his team at the Bedminster golf course.
Donald Trump’s Bedminster golf course on Thursday afternoon hosted a $5m fundraiser
Attendees paid up to $250,000 for their tickets to the New Jersey campaign event
Those who bought the top-tier tickets participated in a round table discussion with Trump
Anderson Cooper, the CNN anchor, accused the Trump campaign of being ‘criminally negligent’ in holding the event despite Trump’s close adviser Hope Hicks having tested positive shortly before.
The virus that has killed more than 16,000 residents in New Jersey, the second most in the country.
On Sunday evening the New Jersey department of health tweeted that they had been handed a list of the 206 people who attended Thursday’s gathering.
They said that the department of health ‘has reached out to these individuals to make them aware of possible exposure and recommend that they self-monitor for symptoms and quarantine if they were in close contact with the President and his staff.’
The New Jersey department of health on Sunday night said they had been given a list of guests
Thursday’s golf club event (pictured) was held eight hours before Trump’s announcement
Trump arrived at Morristown’s airport (pictured) around 2pm on Thursday and left at 4:40pm
Those who attended the event should wait at least 5-7 days before getting tested, as its possible to get a false negative in the early days of infection, the state said.
Most of the attendees at the outdoor event – which raised $5 million, a Republican National Committee official told NJ Advance Media – said they were far from the president and, if they engaged with him, it was only for a few seconds.
Trump arrived at Morristown’s airport around 2pm on Thursday before flying via helicopter to Bedminster.
After the event, he helicoptered back to Morristown and departed in Air Force One around 4:40pm.
Alyssa Farah, a White House communications officer, would not answer questions about when the president first received a rapid test on Thursday, and what those results were. His second positive test was confirmed at 1am Friday.
Asked why the president still traveled to Bedminster on Thursday, she said it ‘was a decision made by White House operations because he wasn’t deemed to pose a threat.’
A significant number of Trump’s inner circle have now tested positive for the virus.
Among them are Hicks, Kellyanne Conway – whose daughter Claudia on Sunday night said she too had COVID – campaign manager Bill Stepien, Melania Trump and Nicholas Luna, one of Trump’s personal assistants.
Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor – who was not at Thursday’s event – tested positive and confirmed the news on Saturday. He was later admitted to Morristown hospital.