The chairman of the Conservative Political Action Conference said Wednesday, days after an attendee tested positive for coronavirus, that CPAC staffers have reached out to the people who may have come into contact with the patient, whether they are members of Congress or “non-VIPs.”
Some Republican lawmakers are in self-quarantine after coming into contact with the individual, who tested positive after attending the annual summit at the end of February. Matt Schlapp, the CPAC chair, was accused by critics of only alerting high-powered officials that they may have been exposed to the deadly virus.
Speaking on “America’s Newsroom” on Wednesday, Matt Schlapp said everyone who may have had contact with the individual was alerted as “soon as we had hard evidence.”
CPAC staffers have reached out to more than 100 people who may have come into contact with the individual, Fox News learned on Tuesday from CPAC staffers, including dozens of people who are not elected officials – as well as members of the media who were covering the event.
“We’re still talking to as many people as we can to learn as much information as we possibly can,” Schlapp said. “We learn a little bit more every day.”
Officials from the top levels of government on the GOP side – President Trump, Vice President Pence, cabinet officials, top-ranking lawmakers – were in attendance. Several lawmakers, including Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and now-acting White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, opted to self-quarantine as a precaution.
Schlapp, who had brief contact with the patient, said on Wednesday that nobody else who attended the conference has so far contracted the virus, including himself.
Schlapp said he is feeling “great” and “never had a symptom.”
The White House said there’s no indication that Trump or Pence were in close proximity to the stricken attendee.
The president did, however, spend time with Collins and Gaetz since CPAC. Collins shook Trump’s hand and joined him for a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga., on Friday. He also met with Trump at the White House last week, several days after the Feb. 26-29 conference.
Gaetz was spotted riding on Air Force One on Monday as he learned the news. White House officials said that when Gaetz learned he had been in close proximity to the man with coronavirus at CPAC, he sat by himself in a section of the president’s plane.
“The president is healthy as a horse. I’m healthy as a horse,” Schlapp said on Wednesday.
He added, “Coming out of CPAC, one thing we’ve learned is even when there is an infected person amongst thousands and thousands, in our case over 10,000 people, it is very, very difficult to contract this virus.”
The infected attendee, who reportedly is a New York City-based doctor, is currently in a hospital in Englewood, N.J. On Wednesday, Schlapp would not share or confirm the identity of the individual.
“We’re following all the public health guidelines,” he said.
Schlapp added, “We’re going to follow the lead of the public health officials. If they decide it’s in the interest of public health to release a name, we’re going to be good with that. We’ll be happy to verify it.”
Fox News’ Melissa Leon, Brooke Singman and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.