WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) sent two letters seeking answers on the White House-linked outbreak of COVID-19. In a letter to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Booker requested an overview of steps that are being taken to protect the health and safety of the individuals who work on the White House grounds. In a separate letter to the Director of U.S. Secret Service James Murray, Booker requested that a full list and contact information of all individuals who attended or worked at President's October 1st political event in Bedminster, New Jersey, be sent to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) to assist with contact tracing efforts.
"My concerns have only grown with recent reports that multiple support staff have contracted COVID-19, likely stemming from contact with President Trump, other White House staff, and non-essential visitors," Senator Booker wrote in the letter to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. The President of the United States and his senior aides have access to some of the best medical care in the world, but many White House workers may not. These workers, like many Americans, may have pre-existing conditions that place them at heightened risk of contracting COVID-19, or they may be caring for loved ones who are at greater risk of suffering serious illness or death should they contract the disease. While the President and senior staff have openly flaunted CDC guidelines designed to halt the spread of the virus and the disease, support staff should not be forced to risk exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 in the course of carrying out their essential duties."
In the letter to Director of U.S. Secret Service James Murray, Senator Booker also wrote, "New Jersey was among the hardest hit areas of the country by the COVID-19 pandemic. The progress New Jersey has made in bringing infection rates down to the lowest in the country is a testament to the leadership of Governor Phil Murphy and the collective restraint and solidarity of New Jersey's nearly nine million residents."
Senator Booker continued, "In order to prevent further transmission of COVID-19 in New Jersey and beyond, a full accounting and contact information of all individuals who attended, staffed, or were otherwise in close proximity to participants at the event is essential for timely contact tracing and testing."