GOP donors panic after coming close to Trump at fundraiser hours before positive Covid-19 test

President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he walks from Marine One after arriving on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, October 1, 2020, following campaign events in New Jersey.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Republican donors who attended President Donald Trump’s fundraiser at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club on Thursday are panicking after being around the commander-in-chief hours before he tested positive for the coronavirus.

GOP donors, according to a person briefed on the matter, have been reaching out to Trump campaign and Republican National Committee officials for any guidance as to what to do next following the event.

Trump’s campaign, as of Friday morning, has yet to send out any official guidance to many of the donors involved with the event.

There were approximately 30 to 50 donors who came close to the president Thursday night, this person added, while noting most of the interaction with Trump took place outdoors. Many of those contributors who have been able to get in touch with GOP officials have been told to stay home and reach out to their physician for next steps. 

The Republican National Committee has said everyone who attended the Bedminster event was tested for Covid-19, passed a temperature test and was six feet or more from the president at all times.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy urged everyone who attended the event “to take full precautions, including self-quarantining and getting tested.” 

“The donors have been texting and calling. Freaking out,” the person with direct knowledge explained. This person declined to be named as the conversations were deemed private. 

Trump revealed he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus after midnight Friday.

Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien reportedly sent a notice to campaign staff that says “any campaign staff member who has had exposure to someone testing positive should immediately begin self-quarantine.” He noted the campaign office remains open. 

The gathering had tickets costing up to $250,000. Dr. Rich Roberts, a longtime Republican donor, told The Lakewood Scoop on Friday that Trump privately met with about 19 people at the event. Roberts estimates that the meeting lasted about 45 minutes.   

Some Republican donors questioned the president’s decision to go to the event after his longtime advisor Hope Hicks became ill. Hicks reportedly tested positive Thursday morning after displaying symptoms Wednesday night while on a campaign trip to Minnesota with the president.

Representatives for the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee did not respond to requests for comment. 

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