The president tweeted about their results just before 1 a.m. Friday, hours after hosting a fundraiser at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
Gov. Phil Murphy said contact tracing was underway Friday morning. He urged anyone who attended the event to get tested.
“We urge everyone who attended yesterday’s event in Bedminster to take full precautions, including self-quarantining and getting tested,” he tweeted.
We urge everyone who attended yesterday's event in Bedminster to take full precautions, including self-quarantining and getting tested for #COVID19.
Find your nearest testing location: https://t.co/JZg9mGpUuV.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) October 2, 2020
A RNC spokesperson told CBS2 the following safety protocols were taken for the event:
“The event site was professionally cleaned and sanitized prior to the event. The White House Medical Unit and U.S. Secret Service evaluated all attendees in order for them to gain access to the event,” the statement read. “Attendees tested negative for COVID-19 on the day of the event, completed a wellness questionnaire, and passed a temperature screening. Every guest was at least 6 feet from the president at all times.”
John Sette, former chairman of the Morris County Republican Committee, was at the outdoor portion of the event and estimates there were about 200-plus people in attendance.
He says masks were required.
Cell phones were not allowed, though, so there are seemingly no photos of the event out there right now.
“I don’t think there was anybody closer than 75 to 100 feet from where he was speaking,” Sette told CBS2’s Alice Gainer. “He looked 100% normal … He spoke for 15 minutes at least, and then he took questions for at least an hour, hour and 15 minutes.”
Sette says he was not tested for COVID-19 prior to the event but believes that was for a limited amount of people who paid to attend a meet-and-greet inside.
He says he has no regrets about attending.
Watch Alice Gainer’s report —
Comedian and radio host Joe Piscopo also attended the fundraiser.
“Top of his game,” he said. “His voice was strong, you know, his stature was strong.”
Piscopo says organizers at the fundraiser followed strict safety guidelines.
“First thing they said to be, you gotta get COVID tested,” he said. “I saw a lot of people were wearing masks, and what I liked about it was, it was all outside, all open outside. The closest person to the president was the Secret Service.”
“Should [the president] have been wearing a mask?” CBS2’s Jessica Layton asked.
“No because he was so far away,” Piscopo said.
Dr. Rich Roberts was part of a group invited for a smaller meeting with President Trump.
“There were 19 of us, and we were at a table set up to make a rectangular formation,” Roberts said.
He says they discussed China, the economy, the debate and the coronavirus vaccine.
“He said look for four or five vaccine approvals within the next four to five weeks,” Roberts said.
According to the president’s official schedule, he was on the ground in New Jersey for about four and a half hours.
After landing at Morristown Airport at 1:55 p.m., he held a 3 p.m. roundtable with supporters at Trump National Golf Club. At 3:45 p.m., he made remarks at his fundraising reception.
He left at 4:55 p.m. and eventually arrived back at the White House at 6:30 p.m.
At 12:54 a.m. Friday, the president tweeted he tested positive.
Prior to the president’s positive test, he learned close advisor Hope Hicks tested positive before arriving in Bedminster.
“We discovered that right as Marine One was taking off yesterday,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said.
Some people who live and work in the area want to know why the president still came to Bedminster.
“I think he should not have. If he knew that she tested positive, I think that the rules are by the CDC if you’ve been exposed to somebody, you should be quarantining. So I think it would’ve been the appropriate choice to do, especially for somebody who’s the leader of our country,” Bedminster resident Don Langenauer said.
“The election’s coming, I think he feels he needs to do it, but still, the safety of everyone should be a priority,” Basking Ridge resident Emily Laput said.
“Now I’m worried about all the people that were there without masks last night,” Kathy Falcon said.
“Knowing that, should he have still come to New Jersey?” Layton asked Piscopo.
“He is loyal,” Piscopo said. “I’ll speak for myself, I was just so grateful that he showed up.”
The golf club referred CBS2 to the Trump Organization in New York for comment. We tried repeatedly to get in touch, but calls went unanswered and an email for the press just kept bouncing back.
You can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.