Journalist with Donald Trump in Tampa Bay area reportedly tests positive for COVID-19
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Journalist wearing protective gloves and face mask against coronavirus COVID-19 disease holding microphone making media interview during virus pandemic
Dozens of journalists, Republican leaders mixed.

One of the journalists who accompanied President Donald Trump to Florida for his meetings with Gov. Ron DeSantis and others last Friday has since tested positive for COVID-19, The Hill reported Monday.

The Hill, a Washington-based political news site, reported the White House Correspondents’ Association is informing other members of the pool of journalists on that trip that one of them has since tested positive and was in close contact with dozens of other journalists during Trump’s visit Friday to Tampa and Belleair.

In addition to following the President and mixing with traveling and local media, the journalist also shared the room with a number of Florida officials including DeSantis, Sen. Rick Scott, state Sen. Wilton Simpson, Pinellas County Commissioner Kathleen Peters, and state Rep. Danny Perez, The Hill reported.

The White House Correspondents Association did not identify the infected journalist.

Trump came for a private campaign fundraiser, to meet with supportive Florida sheriffs and offer a law-and-order speech, and to attend a roundtable. At the roundtable, he offered praise to DeSantis for his handling of the virus outbreak, even as Florida ended a month of spiraling infections and COVID-19 related deaths. He also discussed hurricane preparedness as then-Hurricane Isaias threatened Florida.

“We’ve already reached out to those who were in the pools with this individual, and the White House Medical Unit is conducting additional contact tracing and providing follow-on tests for those in the pools and potentially exposed,” WHCA President Zeke Miller told The Hill.

The meeting on the tarmac of Tampa International Airport with Republican sheriffs offering their endorsement of Trump also drew a small group of 100 to 200 supporters and more than a dozen sheriffs, including Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco and Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. It didn’t appear any of the supporters were wearing masks or facial coverings.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


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