“ ‘The president of the United States is not a civilian.’ ”
That’s White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere, confirming in a Wednesday night statement that President Donald Trump’s plan to travel to his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., would not be sidelined after Gov. Phil Murphy joined his New York and Connecticut peers, Andrew Cuomo and Ned Lamont, in imposing a 14-day quarantine on travelers from states with rising COVID-19 cases.
Trump traveled this week to coronavirus hot spot Arizona for an event with young supporters at a Phoenix megachurch and a brief southern-border visit, during which he and other officials inked signatures on a section of wall. Cases have also been on the rise in Oklahoma, where Trump traveled last weekend for a rally in Tulsa that drew 6,200 supporters, who were to some extent able to socially distance because the arena’s capacity is 19,000 and a larger outdoor appearance was canceled when the expected audience failed to materialize.
At least eight staffers who traveled to Tulsa for the event have tested positive for having contracted the coronavirus causing the COVID-19 disease.
“Anyone who is in close proximity to [Trump], including staff, guests, and press are tested for COVID-19 and confirmed to be negative,” explained Deere of the Bedminster decision. “The president takes the health and safety of everyone traveling in support of himself and all White House operations very seriously.”
Murphy appeared to sign off on Trump’s planned visit to his state during a CNN interview, characterizing the president as, by definition, an excepted essential worker.
Originally published on MarketWatch