A White Home Lengthy in Denial Confronts Actuality

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Ms. Hicks, a longtime aide who is likely one of the president’s closest advisers, was extra involved, colleagues mentioned. She took extra precautions than most others and typically wore a masks in conferences.

Colleagues mentioned that newcomers to Mr. Trump’s orbit, like Kayleigh McEnany, the White Home press secretary, by no means wore a masks in his presence, in what was interpreted by different employees members as an try to please the brand new boss.

Because the months progressed, there have been so few reported virus instances within the White Home — a valet to the president, a prime aide to the vp and Robert C. O’Brien, the nationwide safety adviser, all examined constructive — that aides to the president grew even much less involved.

By June, the month earlier than Mr. O’Brien tested positive, the White Home had already stopped conducting temperature checks for folks getting into the complicated. Solely these aides who had been interacting instantly with the president obtained each day assessments. Masks remained uncommon sightings.

The perspective was widespread within the administration. On the Justice Division in Might, Legal professional Basic William P. Barr advised a New York Instances Journal reporter who arrived in a masks for an interview that “I’m not going to contaminate you,’’ after which sat by as an aide steered, twice, that the reporter take the masks off. The reporter did.

Even on Friday, solely hours after the president had introduced at 1 a.m. on Twitter that he and the primary girl had examined constructive, the White Home was making an attempt to undertaking that it was enterprise as ordinary. “We had an important jobs report this morning,” Mr. Meadows advised reporters on the White Home. “Sadly, that’s not what everyone is concentrated on this morning.”

Nonetheless, they made each effort to hold on with a nothing-to-see-here-folks mentality.

Mr. Meadows, who had been in shut contact with the president in current days, arrived at work and not using a masks, and continued to say {that a} masks was not vital as a result of he had examined detrimental. (Mr. Meadows wore a masks when he accompanied Mr. Trump, additionally in a masks, to Walter Reed Nationwide Army Medical Middle on Friday night.)