Anyone who has been around Hope Hicks, the best advisor to US President Donald Trump for more than a few minutes, should be quarantined at home after testing positive for Covid-19, a leading infectious disease expert said.
Hicks recently traveled with Trump several times, including to the Cleveland debate on Tuesday.
“Anyone who has been linked to Miss Hicks in the recent past should be quarantined at home and stay at home with nowhere to go. That would be a routine public health policy, ”said Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University opposite CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday evening.
White House staff are routinely tested for Covid-19. “This is another example where you can prove that testing doesn’t prevent infection,” Schaffner said. “You do a lot of tests in the White House, but you have to wear the mask.”
Who is at risk: Some White House staff working with Hicks were notified on Thursday in a development first reported by Bloomberg News, but others, like the media covering the Trump administration, including flying to rallies and fundraisers, have 24 hours needed to learn from them possible exposure.
“This is not a model for a thorough, insightful public health study. They want to notify people immediately, tell them to take shelter at home, start their testing process and see what happens, ”said Schaffner.
“We need to prevent further transmission of this virus, and that is a routine part of public health.”
The chances are good that Trump has also been exposed: “If the president were a normal person, they would stay home, their symptoms would be monitored, and they would be tested regularly. You would then safely protect him from others so that he might not pass this infection on to others, ”said Schaffner.
Trump supporters and staff have not always done what they need to do to prevent broadcast and participation in rallies, and having staff around is “just the wrong thing,” Schaffner said.
“This is not a political statement. The virus doesn’t care. This is a simple public health statement, the virus is going to spread and I promise you at these big rallies the virus is there, it’s contagious and it’s spreading just as surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. ” he said.