Yes, Donald Trump knew that Hope Hicks had Covid-19 and that he had been exposed to her many times. And yet he still attended a fundraising event on Thursday with 30-50 donors (who paid as much as $250,000 to get a great bit more than they bargained for). Not only that, but he met privately with around 19 people at the event. The donors who attended “are panicking“.
According to Chris Wallace, the moderator of the debate, the Trump campaign’s entourage (which included Hope Hicks) arrived too late on Tuesday to receive a Covid-19 test, which the venue had required. Instead, they were allowed in on the “honor system”.
An honor system with the Trump administration. Seriously?
Trump’s people were wearing masks as they arrived, because they would not otherwise have been allowed into the auditorium, but they took them off shortly after sitting down and refused to put them back on. And as icing on the cake, Trump mocked Biden during the debate for wearing a mask.
It gets worse. Even though Chris Christie spent 4 days with Trump and Hicks preparing for the debate, the campaign did not inform him that Hicks had tested positive (he learned about it from the media). And (no surprise) the Trump campaign didn’t notify Biden’s campaign either (again, they learned it from the media).
Here is Heather Cox Richardson’s summary of this situation:
This crisis shows how the administration’s refusal to share information and its insistence on its own version of reality creates confusion that leaves Americans vulnerable and anxious. Its history of secrecy and lies means that few people actually trust anything its spokespeople say. It was striking how many people did not believe the Trumps were actually sick when the news broke; we are so accustomed to Trump’s lies that many people thought he was simply looking for a way out of future debates.
The constant lies—about coronavirus and virtually everything else—destabilize the nation because we cannot know what the truth really is. And if we don’t know what is actually happening, we cannot make good decisions. Today the editorial board of the Washington Post warned that the White House simply must let us know the truth about the president’s health so that we know who is actually running national security, the economy, and the election on our behalf.
That plea did not appear to make much of an impression on the White House: it did not bother to tell Pelosi, who is third in line for the presidency, that Trump was being helicoptered to Walter Reed Hospital.