(Updated at 10:20 a.m.) President Donald Trump’s campaign headquarters in Rosslyn temporarily shut down last week after a campaign official tested positive for coronavirus, Politico reported Friday afternoon.
The campaign was chided by local officials last month after Vice President Mike Pence visited and was photographed with a sea staffers, all without masks. Now comes word that the office was recently deep cleaned due to a positive COVID-19 test and worries about the virus spreading in the open floor plan office.
More from Politico:
Inside the Trump campaign’s headquarters this week, a team of cleaners scrubbed down surfaces and disinfected equipment — a recognition that coronavirus has found its way into the heart of the president’s reelection bid, regardless of Donald Trump’s public dismissals of recent risk.
The campaign’s headquarters — located on the 14th floor of an Arlington, Va., office building that shares space with multiple businesses — is normally packed with dozens of staffers, often sitting in close proximity to conduct phone calls and other urgent campaign business, said three people with knowledge of its operations.
But the office was shut down for its first deep cleaning in weeks after a senior campaign official tested positive for the virus. The decision to conduct the cleaning came after two months of flouting the Trump administration’s own public health guidance: There are no face coverings or temporary barriers between desks at headquarters, and leaders have limited efforts to implement social distancing.
The article goes on to note that masks are encouraged for staffers outside of the office — “in case they’re spotted by reporters” — but not inside.
“You get made fun of, if you wear a mask,” one unnamed person told Politico, which is also based in Rosslyn. “There’s social pressure not to do it.”
The article then quotes Arlington and Falls Church Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, who said last month — in response to the Pence photo — that violations of coronavirus-related safety orders are to be enforced by the state Dept. of Health, not local law enforcement.
Dehghani-Tafti told POLITICO this week that she wasn’t aware of any efforts by Virginia officials to enforce safety protections at the Trump campaign’s Arlington headquarters.
“I remain focused on the health and safety of all Arlingtonians and continue to encourage all to social distance, wear face masks, avoid large gatherings and maintain a rigorous regimen of hand washing,” Dehghani-Tafti added.
Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), a fierce Trump critic who represents Arlington in Congress, criticized the campaign again for its reported lax stance toward a pandemic that keeps getting worse in the U.S.
A month after Pence deleted a tweet showing the Trump campaign violating public health regulations in Arlington they are still doing it, even after staffers got sick.
Trump's own campaign flouting the law and ignoring medical guidance is a potent symbol of his failed leadership. https://t.co/YSHPGRXvIn
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) July 10, 2020
An additional 44 coronavirus cases were reported over the weekend in Arlington, according to the Virginia Dept. of Health, bringing the seven-day trailing rate of new cases to 93 — the highest point since June 14.
File photo via Twitter