‘Rose Garden Massacre’: Was Barrett Event a Super Spreader?


The term “Rose Garden Massacre” is trending online.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett tested negative for the COVID-19 virus, but the term “Rose Garden Massacre” is trending online because a number of people who attended her nomination press conference now have COVID-19, including President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and the president of Notre Dame University, John Jenkins.

TMZ, using the headline “Rose Garden Massacre,” reported that the event “was ground zero for what is increasingly looking like a super-spreader COVID event.”

According to TMZ, the list of people with COVID-19 who attended the event also includes Senator Mike Lee, Senator Thom Tillis, Kellyanne Conway, and Hope Hicks. TMZ reported that “almost no one was wearing masks or social distancing.” The Guardian reported that at least seven people who attended the event now have coronavirus. The two senators, who are both on the Senate Judiciary Committee that will hear the nomination, did not wear masks at the event, according to Guardian. Lee has “symptoms consistent with longtime allergies,” and Tillis doesn’t have symptoms.

Another person at the event with COVID-19 is former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. An unnamed journalist at the Rose Garden event also has coronavirus, according to ABC News.

To be sure, it’s not clear when all of those people got COVID-19, where, and from who. However, concern grew that coronavirus might have spread at the press conference, which was held September 25. The timeline of when President Trump came down with the virus is in dispute; his doctor initially said in a press conference on October 3 that the president was 72 hours into his diagnosis, but the White House later clarified that the president tested positive on Thursday October 1. “This morning while summarizing the President’s health, I incorrectly used the term ‘seventy two hours’ instead of ‘day three’ and ‘forty eight hours’ instead of ‘day two’ with regards to his diagnosis and the administration of the polyclonal antibody therapy,” the president’s doctor, Sean Conley, later said. “The President was first diagnosed with COVID-19 on the evening of Thursday, October 1st and had received Regeron’s antibody cocktail on Friday, October 2nd.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says of COVID-19: “The estimated incubation period is between 2 and 14 days with a median of 5 days.”

Here’s what you need to know:

Video Shows People at the Event Hugging & Not Wearing Masks

The Washington Post reported that Barrett is tested daily for the virus and most recently tested negative Friday morning, October 2. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced that they both have tested positive for coronavirus.

Video of the so-called “Rose Garden massacre” showed hugging and lack of masks and social distancing by some people in attendance.

“Judge Barrett is tested daily for COVID-19—she has tested negative. She is following CDC guidance and best practices, including social distancing, wearing face coverings, and frequently washes hands,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement on Friday, according to The Independent.

Barrett Already Recovered From COVID-19 After Getting It Last Summer

Barrett 2

Getty/Olivier DoulieryJudge Amy Coney Barrett speaks after being nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on September 26, 2020. – Barrett, if confirmed by the US Senate, will replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on September 18.

Barrett doesn’t have COVID-19 now but she had it last summer.

The Post previously reported that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett “was diagnosed with the coronavirus earlier this year but has since recovered.” The positive test came last summer, The Post reported.

“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” President Trump wrote in the early morning hours of October 2.

Melania Trump wrote on Twitter, “As too many Americans have done this year, @potus & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19. We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together.”

The Independent noted that Barrett has been making the rounds meeting Republican senators since the nomination was announced.

The President of Notre Dame Has Coronavirus

According to the Observer, University President Fr. John Jenkins of Notre Dame tested positive for the coronavirus, it was confirmed on October 2. The news site reported that Jenkins “has been self-quarantining since his trip to the White House” for the Barrett nomination press conference the Saturday before. He was seen during that event without a mask, The Observer reported.

The Observer further reported Browne said Jenkins “learned earlier this week a colleague whom he regularly associates with tested positive for the virus.” That’s when he was tested and found out he has it too.

“My symptoms are mild and I will continue work from home,” Jenkins said to the news site. “The positive test is a good reminder for me and perhaps for all of how vigilant we need to be.”

Reporter Jack Jenkins noted in a tweet, “Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins, who was at the WH SCOTUS announcement on Saturday and was criticized for not wearing a mask and shaking hands, has tested positive for COVID-19.”

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