Inside the White House Event Now Under Covid-19 Scrutiny

At least 11 people who attended a White House event on Sept. 26 have since tested positive for the coronavirus. Eight of them, including the first lady, sat in the first several rows of a nomination ceremony for Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the White House Rose Garden. Those diagnosed include the president himself.

Few people at the outdoor ceremony wore masks or kept their social distance. But experts say the more risky time spent that day was at a reception inside the White House, where President Trump met with a smaller group of guests.

There, Mr. Trump mingled with Judge Barrett, her family and prominent Republicans in the Oval Office and in the Diplomatic Room. Research has shown that transmission of the virus tends to happen indoors, and gatherings where guests are maskless and in tight quarters can be a recipe for “super spreader” events.

Here are some of the scenes from inside the White House on the day of Judge Barrett’s nomination ceremony.

White House Diplomatic Room, Sept. 26

Attendees who have since tested positive for the coronavirus






Sen. Thom Tillis

North Carolina

Sen. Josh Hawley

Missouri

President Trump and

Melania Trump

Amy Coney Barrett

Supreme Court nominee

Maureen Scalia

Wife of late Justice

Antonin Scalia

Sen. Kelly Loeffler

Georgia

Amy Coney

Barrett

Supreme Court

nominee

Sen. Thom Tillis

North Carolina

Sen. Josh Hawley

Missouri

President Trump and

Melania Trump

Maureen Scalia

Wife of late Justice

Antonin Scalia

Sen. Kelly Loeffler

Georgia

Amy Coney

Barrett

Supreme Court

nominee

Sen. Thom Tillis

North Carolina

President Trump and

Melania Trump

Sen. Josh Hawley

Missouri

Maureen Scalia

Wife of late Justice

Antonin Scalia

Sen. Kelly Loeffler

Georgia

Sen. Thom Tillis

North Carolina

Amy Coney Barrett

Supreme Court

nominee

Sen. Josh Hawley

Missouri

President Trump

and Melania Trump

Maureen Scalia

Wife of late Justice

Antonin Scalia

Sen. Kelly Loeffler

Georgia


Doug Mills/The New York Times






Pat A. Cipollone

White House counsel

Chris Christie

Former governor

of New Jersey

Pat A. Cipollone

White House counsel

Chris Christie

Former governor

of New Jersey

Pat A. Cipollone

White House counsel

Chris Christie

Former governor

of New Jersey

Pat A. Cipollone

White House counsel

Chris Christie

Former governor

of New Jersey


Doug Mills/The New York Times






William P. Barr

Attorney general

Amy Coney Barrett

Supreme Court nominee

Alex M. Azar II

Health and Human

Services secretary

William P. Barr

Attorney general

Amy Coney Barrett

Supreme Court nominee

Alex M. Azar II

Health and Human

Services secretary

Amy Coney Barrett

Supreme Court nominee

William P. Barr

Attorney general

Alex M. Azar II

Health and Human

Services secretary

Amy Coney Barrett

Supreme Court nominee

William P. Barr

Attorney general

Alex M. Azar II

Health and Human

Services secretary


Doug Mills/The New York Times






Sen. Thom Tillis

North Carolina

Sen. Thom Tillis

North Carolina

Sen. Thom Tillis

North Carolina

Sen. Thom Tillis

North Carolina


Doug Mills/The New York Times






Amy Coney Barrett

Supreme Court nominee

Amy Coney Barrett

Supreme Court nominee

Amy Coney Barrett

Supreme Court nominee

Amy Coney Barrett

Supreme Court nominee


Doug Mills/The New York Times

It is not clear when exactly the attendees who later tested positive were infected, and the White House has said all guests tested negative for the virus before the event. Still, it can take several days after exposure for the virus to be detected by a test.

The indoor White House gathering was far from the only time this week that Mr. Trump was in close quarters indoors with family, aides or supporters.

Ahead of the first presidential debate on Tuesday night in Cleveland, Mr. Trump held closed-door preparation sessions on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with a half-dozen aides and advisers, including Bill Stepien, his campaign manager; Kellyanne Conway, a former White House adviser; and Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey. All of them have since tested positive for the virus. Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, also participated in debate preparation sessions but has said he tested negative.

Since the event in the Rose Garden, Mr. Trump traveled in close quarters aboard Air Force One to and from the debate in Cleveland and campaign events in Pennsylvania, Minnesota and New Jersey. At least five other people on those flights later tested positive.