White House vs. Coronavirus: Round 2

White House vs. Coronavirus: Round 2
President Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows has reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus, meaning that the White House may soon be dealing with a second outbreak on top of a contentious presidential election. (Photo: Joshua Roberts, Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows has tested positive for coronavirus, multiple outlets reported late Friday evening.

The news comes just days after Meadows attended a packed election night rally at the White House with nary a face mask in sight among the few hundred guests, indicating that the Trump administration — having apparently learned nothing from its previous superspreader event — might very likely have a second covid-19 outbreak on its hands on top of a seemingly never-ending presidential election.

Meadows disclosed his diagnosis to his circle of advisers after Tuesday’s election, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg under the condition of anonymity. That means he either tested positive after Tuesday’s rally, which would suck, or he knew that he was infected and attended the event anyway, which would suck infinitely more! A Trump campaign aide, Nick Trainer, has also reportedly tested positive for the virus, sources told the outlet.

Another White House covid-19 outbreak would be on-brand for the U.S., sad as it is to say. The country set yet another grim global record on Thursday after reporting more than 120,000 new daily coronavirus cases. Its total case tally is quickly approaching the 10 million mark, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.

In October, more than three dozen top politicians, White House staffers, and reporters tested positive for the virus after attending a Rose Garden ceremony where Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination. That list includes Trump, his wife, Melania, and youngest son, Barron, as well as Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, and top Trump aide Hope Hicks, among others.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci later called this gathering, in which dozens of guests mingled without wearing face masks, a “superspreader event.” I wouldn’t be surprised if Tuesday’s rally earns the same macabre designation.