No COVID-19 spread from Trump fundraiser … yet, Murphy says
BEDMINSTER — Gov. Phil Murphy said so far there's no evidence of COVID-19 spreading from anyone at President Donald Trump's political fundraiser on Thursday —but that it may be too soon to tell.
More than 200 donors to the president's reelection campaign attended the fundraiser at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, which Trump attended after learning close aide Hope Hicks had contracted the novel coronavirus. The two had traveled together that week, including to the presidential debate two days earlier. The president received a positive coronavirus test result later after the Bedminster event, White House officials have said.
The White House and Trump's doctors have declined to say when the president, who is tested frequently, most recently received a negative test result. Monday morning, the president remained at Walter Reed Military Medical Center for observation and treatment.
Both the Somerset County Department of Health and the state Department of Health are in the process of contact tracing guests who came to the event and club employees.
Murphy told CBS This Morning that "to the best of my knowledge" there was no COVID-19 spread resulting from the fundraiser. But he added that it may be too soon to make a definite determination.
"This virus takes a number of days to incubate so the notion of 'hey I got a test after I heard this and it came back negative so I can go on my merry way' — that's not how this works," the governor said.
He told CBS anyone associated with the fundraiser must self-quarantine immediately and take a test after 5 to 7 days. CDC guidelines call for anyone with a known coronavirus exposure to quarantine for two weeks, even after a negative test and even if showing no symptoms.
Murphy also told CBS "there's a lot of attention on the event" when asked about possible violations of his executive orders regarding the size of indoor gatherings.
"Part of the event was indoors. We all know the virus is more lethal inside than it is outside. This event and everything associated with it is troubling," Murphy said.
The state department of health told New Jersey 101.5 an update on contact tracing would come during Murphy's coronavirus briefing on Monday afternoon.
He told CNN's New Day the fundraiser "borders on reckless in terms of exposing people not just in New Jersey but it looks like folks from around the country who have now scattered by the way," adding that the club staff lives mostly in New Jersey.
Murphy said more cooperation is needed from the Trump administration to help contact guests at the fundraiser. He said the White House and RNC had provided state officials with the names and email addresses of attendees, but not their phone numbers.
"It's all in the moment, as I think it's been for the past seven months. We need everyone to punch at their weight here," Murphy told CNN.
Murphy said he did not have any news of the condition of former Gov. Chris Christie who said he checked himself into Morristown Medical Center on Saturday while suffering "mild symptoms" of COVID-19 after testing positive.