Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Friday said that President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis shows what happens “when you ignore science,” in a Friday statement that also said that he is praying for the president and first lady Melania Trump, who tested positive for the coronavirus overnight as well.
“I wish President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump and any White House staff members who are infected a speedy recovery. I join the nation in praying for the First Family’s health and safety,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said.
He added: “What happened to President Trump is a reminder of why the whole country, including Senators and staff, must follow the science and follow the protocols laid out by the CDC and public health officials. When you ignore the science, you don’t wear a mask, and you don’t follow social distancing guidelines, it puts you and everyone around you at risk.”
Also positive for the coronavirus is top White House aide Hope Hicks, who began feeling symptoms of the disease on Wednesday night and tested positive Thursday morning. That means the White House knew an aide who spends significant time with the president was positive for the coronavirus before Trump went to Bedminster, N.J., Thursday for a fundraising event. The news of Hicks’ coronavirus diagnosis did not break until Thursday night and the Trumps’ results were released early Friday morning.
Schumer said Friday morning that the White House must “immediately conduct a contact tracing regime that follows CDC guidelines, as well as thorough testing and isolation for those who were exposed to infection risk. This must include strict adherence to those guidelines for all of the White House staff members that the President, First Lady, and the aide came into contact with; and all of the people those individuals came into contact with whom experts deem at risk of exposure, and so forth.”
The Senate minority leader said those policies should apply to Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the president’s Supreme Court nominee who last met with the president face-to-face on Saturday when he officially announced her nomination. She’s met with 32 senators this week and the White House says she is tested daily and has tested negative.
Senate Republicans have signaled that they plan to move “full steam ahead” with the Barrett confirmation. The Judiciary Committee is set to begin its hearing on the nominee Oct. 12.
Schumer’s Friday statement echoed comments made on MSNBC by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Pelosi said she is praying for the president, but that she hopes he will now take “a saner approach” to the coronavirus after being diagnosed.
“We all received that news with great sadness. I always pray for the president and his family that they are safe, continue to do so more intensified, and I know that he’ll have the best of care, and that’s what we want for everyone in our country,” Pelosi said. “I hope this will be a moment where people will understand that what we have in our HEROES bill and what we have over and over is we must have testing, tracing, treatment. We must have spatial distancing. We must be wearing our masks.”