counselor Kellyanne Conway speaks to members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House

Kellyanne Conway, Chris Christie, and More Republicans Test Positive for COVID-19

The only thing more contagious than COVID-19 is karma, apparently.
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Republicans are reaping the consequences of their own actions as several prominent party members have tested positive for the coronavirus. White house advisor Kellyanne Conway, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, and senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) join those who previously tested positive, advisor Hope Hicks, President Donald Trump, and First Lady Melania Trump.

The outbreak within Trump’s inner circle is hardly to surprising, considering the White House has refused to acknowledge the reality of COVID-19. Members of Trump’s administration have refused to wear masks or practice social distancing, all while downplaying the threat of the virus. As recently as Tuesday, Trump mocked Joe Biden during the televised debates for wearing a mask saying, “I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from them and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.” Trump’s family, who attended the debates, also refused to wear masks despite them being required at the Cleveland clinic.

Many are tracing the outbreak to two separate events: Trump’s debate prep, which had him in close quarters with Conway, Stepien, Christie, and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The other super-spreader event was Trump’s rose garden nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court, which saw dozens of republicans sitting closely together, with none of them wearing masks. At least seven of the attendees have tested positive, including University of Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins. Judge Amy Coney Barrett has said that she was diagnosed with COVID-19 in August, and successfully recovered.

Video from the event shows multiple attendees, including Sen. Lee, hugging, shaking hands, and fist bumping one another. Attendees were given a rapid COVID-19 test upon arrival, but the test was only designed for people with symptoms, making it ineffective for most attendees. In addition to the republicans listed, 3 unnamed White House reporters and 11 debate staffers have tested positive.

Conway’s diagnosis was revealed on TikTok via her estranged daughter Claudia Conway:

It’s a predictable outcome from an administration that has repeatedly ignored, downplayed, and lied about the dangers of the coronavirus. It’s that very dereliction of duty that has lead to over 208K American deaths and nearly 7.4 million cases, the economic collapse, and the shutting down of our country. There is something deeply poetic and almost biblical about the spread of COVID-19, considering it happened during a ceremony to nominate a judge who wants to destroy the Affordable Care Act and kick millions of Americans off of health insurance.

Will this super-spreader event lead to any sort of reality check for republicans? It remains to be seen, but I’m doubtful.

(via CNN, featured image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.