No one should have come in person last week to President Donald Trump’s fundraiser at his Bedminster golf club because of the risk of COVID-19 infection, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.
White House officials acknowledged last week they knew of the president’s exposure risk before he traveled to the Garden State for Thursday’s event but allowed it to proceed anyway. A spokesman later said Trump didn’t have any contact with donors or staff that would be considered close, based on the CDC guidelines of longer than 15 minutes and within 6 feet.
In a series of TV appearances Monday, Murphy issued yet another condemnation, calling the trip the “wrong decision at every level.” He said the fundraiser should have been canceled.
Murphy has urged anyone at the club while the president was there to quarantine for two weeks. A negative test, he said, should not override the need of a 14-day self-quarantine. State and federal contact tracing and testing efforts are ongoing.
“If you think you’ve been in touch or in the midst of someone who is COVID positive you’ve got to take yourself off the field,” Murphy said. “This borders on reckless in terms of exposing people.”
The president attended a campaign fundraiser at his Trump National Golf Course Thursday, hours before he announced he had COVID-19. He had said earlier that a close aide, who later was identified as Hope Hicks, was positive for the virus.
“It is clear the president and his staff acted recklessly,” Murphy said at his daily press briefing on Monday. New Jersey officials will continue to investigate how the fundraiser complied with the state’s current health standards and laws, the governor said.
The White House sent Somerset County officials a list of 206 guests at the event, but Murphy said all the staff at the club are New Jersey residents. It’s unclear whether they were accounted for on the president’s list.