After Anthony Fauci, MD explained Supreme Court Candidate Amy Coney Barrett's introduction to a COVID-19 super-spreader event in the Rose Garden on Sept. 26, how many of the 200 guests and staff at the The White House – most of whom wore no mask or social distancing – were infected. An infected person could infect at least two other people. The Washington Post reports that at least 34 people associated with the event or the White House tested positive for the coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, didn't analyze words on Oct. 9 when he told CBS News Radio that data confirms that Judge Barrett's coming-out party sparked the spread of the virus.
"We had a super spreader event in the White House," he said. “And it was a situation where people were huddled together and not wearing masks. So the data speak for themselves. "
However, it will not be easy to find out exactly how many people have signed COVID-19 at the event. Many participants have spread across the country and returned to their homes and daily lives without knowing they were exposed to the virus. And the White House has resisted much of the CDC's efforts to conduct contact tracing.
"I think it's fair to say that anyone who attended or worked on the event could have been exposed to the virus as they are likely to have encountered others, some of whom were infected," said Dr. Seth Welles. ScD, Professor of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases at Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health in Philadelphia. "How many were infected is a whole different story."
A super-spreader event is defined as when a critical number of infected people are in close proximity to a large group of people, which allows a virus to be easily transmitted. A week after the Rose Garden event, President Trump announced that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the virus. Several aides attending the ceremony, including Hope Hicks, Stephen Miller, and Kayleigh McEnany, and Republican Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Mike Lee (R-UT) also tested positive.
"The Barrett Rose Garden event is a great example," said Dr. Welles.
From there it becomes a geometric sequence. Early reports said nine people, including two journalists, were infected at the ceremony. Epidemiologists know that one infected person is likely to infect two or three people, said Dr. Welles. Those two or three people are likely to infect two or three people at a time, and so on. And then there are those who have no symptoms; You are still able to spread the virus.
"The percentage of people with severe symptoms is 5% to 10% among those infected, and about 2% die," said Dr. Welles. "It's about."
Contact tracing is the best way to stop a virus from spreading. It takes a lot of manpower and a lot of training to get it right, said Dr. Welles. For complete and accurate information on building a thorough chain of transmission, contact tracers must gain the trust of every person they interview before asking personal questions such as: When was the last time you were tested? When did you develop symptoms? Who did you contact? Where do these people live and how can they be reached?
"There are problems with the test that initially shows no infection," said Dr. Welles. "And people become detectable as the infection progresses, and the amount of viruses they harbor increases."
However, people who attended the Rose Garden event and sat shoulder to shoulder without a mask were never asked these questions because the contact tracing never happened, or at least not on a large scale. White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern told the Associated Press that the White House had only conducted limited contact traces. Looking back over 48 hours, people were found who may have been within one meter of an infected person for at least 15 minutes.
If the White House had just told epidemiologists that people at the event were infected, the contact tracing could have been sped up quickly. People would have been contacted, informed of their exposure, and tested for the virus multiple times.
“That was what you had to do, and they don't , ” Said Dr. Welles. "You are not open about it."
Washington, D.C. and nine other jurisdictions are attempting to contact them to follow up on the incident locally. To quell an outbreak, the DC Health Department released an open letter asking people who have worked in the White House for the past two weeks to participate in the Rose Garden announcement or to have close contact with people who work there Contact your local health department.
Robert Calandra is an award-winning journalist, author, and playwright. His work has been published in national and regional magazines and newspapers.