At least 8 people who attended Supreme Court nomination ceremony have tested positive for COVID-19

At least eight people who have tested positive for coronavirus were in attendance at the Supreme Court nomination ceremony at the White House last weekend. The number of people in President Trump’s circle who tested positive for the virus is growing, following news of the president and first lady’s positive diagnoses early Friday morning. 

On Saturday, September 26, Mr. Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. He held an outdoor ceremony at the Rose Garden, which was attended by about 200 people — many of whom were not wearing masks or following social distancing guidelines. There are also photos of some of the attendees inside the White House on Saturday.

President Trump Announces His Supreme Court Nominee To Replace Justice Ginsburg
President Trump announces Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at the White House on September 26, 2020. Seven people in attendance have since tested positive for COVID-19.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

There is now growing concern that Mr. Trump contracted the virus at the ceremony, which could have possibly been a “super-spreader” event. Photos from the event show that chairs were not socially distanced, with many of the people who have tested positive sitting in close proximity. 

So far, at least eight people who attended that ceremony have tested positive for COVID-19: The president, first lady Melania Trump, former top aide Kellyanne Conway, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, University of Notre Dame President John Jenkins, Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina and a White House reporter, according to the White House Correspondents’ Association.

Barrett tested positive for the virus over the summer and has since recovered, The Washington Post reports. 

Christie, who did not wear a mask to the event, announced his diagnosis on Saturday, tweeting “I will be receiving medical attention today.” Conway, who also did not wear a mask, announced her diagnosis late Friday, calling her symptoms “mild,” including a “light cough.”  

Lee, who was seen at the event hugging and kissing attendees without a mask, tweeted Friday that he had “symptoms consistent with longtime allergies” and would spend 10 days in isolation. Tillis, who did wear a mask, tweeted that he experienced no symptoms and will also isolate for 10 days. 

Lee appears to have been seated directly behind Vice President Mike Pence and Tillis was seated directly behind U.S. Attorney General William Barr. Both Pence and Barr announced that they tested negative for the virus on Friday.

President Trump Announces His Supreme Court Nominee To Replace Justice Ginsburg
Chairs at the September 26 nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at the White House were not spaced six feet apart, and many attendees did not wear masks.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

GOP Senator Ron Johnson, whose positive COVID-19 diagnosis was announced Saturday morning, did not attend Saturday’s event. He is the third Republican senator to test positive for the virus in two days.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called to delay Barrett’s confirmation hearing following

Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins tests positive for coronavirus after White House SCOTUS ceremony

Jenkins was the latest prominent leader to announce an infection Friday, a day that began with the revelation that Trump and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive.

During his self-quarantine this week, Jenkins learned that a colleague with whom he had been in regular contact tested positive for the virus, according to an announcement sent to campus Friday afternoon. Jenkins was tested and found to be positive as well, so he is beginning “an extended period of isolation as indicated by University medical personnel and county health officials,” the announcement said.

In the statement to campus, Jenkins said, “My symptoms are mild and I will continue work from home. The positive test is a good reminder for me and perhaps for all of how vigilant we need to be.”

A spokeswoman for the university said there would be no further comment.

Last month, the prestigious Catholic university in Indiana switched to online instruction for two weeks, as virus cases rose rapidly in the early days of the term. Notre Dame, which has 12,000 students, resumed in-person classes earlier this month as officials determined the threat of an outbreak had diminished.

Jenkins is not the only university president to have gotten the virus — Harvard University’s president told the campus in March that he and his wife were ill, for example — but his attendance at the White House event raised questions.

Barrett is a professor of law at Notre Dame. Jenkins described the nomination ceremony in a letter to campus as a “historic event to support a faculty colleague and alumna of Notre Dame who is greatly respected by academic and judicial peers, revered by her students and cherished by her friends.”

But some students were shocked by photographs of Jenkins not wearing a mask at the ceremony in the Rose Garden, where guests sat close to one another.

Notre Dame requires certain behaviors for everyone on campus and has made clear that mask-wearing and physical distancing are “key responsibilities” for every member of the community.

Some students called for Jenkins’s resignation for failing to comply with the school’s health protocols. Students living on and off campus at Notre Dame have been held to the standards set forth by the school’s coronavirus rules, they wrote in a petition, “and those who have not adhered to safety guidelines have received disciplinary actions consistent with their indiscretion, including several students being dismissed from the University for gathering in large groups without masks.”

They wrote that Jenkins had frequently reminded them to hold one another accountable for the safety and well-being of everyone, “and he can no longer, in good conscience, call the student body, faculty and staff to adhere to the safety protocol that he ignores.”

On Thursday, the student senate voted down the resolution calling for his resignation with a 36-to-2 vote, according to Rachel Ingal, the president of Notre Dame’s student government. “Based on the dialogue in the room, the general sentiment was that there was a desire to

22 soldiers receive elite field medicine badge at Fort Carson ceremony | Military

The soldiers were elated and proud as they stood in formation in the morning sun, waiting for their loved ones or colleagues to pin their newly earned badges to their uniforms.

They were also exhausted, having just completed a 12-mile foot march — carrying heavy rucksacks, no less — as the final labor of an intense two-week competition for the right to wear the coveted insignia.

The troops lined up Sept. 25 to receive the Expert Field Medical Badge in a brief, socially distanced ceremony at Fort Carson. The badge represents the elite of the Army medical community: Less than 10% of its soldiers are authorized to wear it, according to Capt. Alyssa Schlegel, who helped run the grueling test.

The competition has about an 80% attrition rate. Fort Carson officials said 113 soldiers began the journey two weeks ago, and only 22 completed it.

“You are truly the best of the best,” said guest speaker Travis Worrell, a retired combat medic who earned the badge in 2010.

Combat medics need to know a lot more than how to treat battle wounds. They must possess daytime and nighttime land-navigation skills and working knowledge of Army communication systems. And they have to be ready and able to use a weapon in a firefight.

The curriculum tests soldiers on these skills, and more.

In order to be eligible for the competition, soldiers must have high physical fitness test scores, knowledge of small weapon systems and a current CPR certification.

During the course, they must successfully complete more than three dozen arduous tasks, including treating simulated wounds, moving injured soldiers out of the line of fire, and mastering an 80-question written exam covering the massive amounts of information they have to absorb.

“We have a lot of things to learn in a short amount of time,” said 1st Lt. Claire Schmelzenbach, one of the group’s top graduates. “It’s very intense.”

The foot march is the culminating event, and it takes place before dawn on the morning of graduation. Soldiers must complete the 12-mile hike in three hours or less, or they fail.

Col. Scott Knight, senior trainer and evaluator, said that occasionally a candidate will fight and claw through the entire two weeks, only to have to drop out just hours before graduation because they failed to complete the march in the requisite three hours.

“We lost two (candidates) like that this morning,” Knight said after the ceremony. “It’s a challenge all the way to the end.”

The possibility of failing, right up to graduation day, made3 success that much sweeter for the 22 soldiers left standing at the end.

“My feet hurt a little, and I’ve been up since 2:30 this morning,” Schmelzenbach said. “But I’m excited, and very proud.”

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