Doctors eye Rose Garden ceremony as 'super spreader' gathering
As cases of COVID-19 emerge in the nation's capital, President Donald Trump and his inner circle have one event in common: a potential "super spreader" ceremony with about 200 guests.
Many of them were not wearing masks or social distancing.
Lawmakers say they are frustrated as more cases of COVID-19 are traced back to the Rose Garden ceremony held last weekend.
"This is Amy Coney Barrett's ceremony at the White House. Loads of people sitting very close together for long periods of time. With no masks, most of them," says Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. "When they went inside, they were encouraged to take off their masks, even though being inside is more damaging than being outside."
It's still unclear how and when President Trump contracted the virus, but at least eight people who attended that ceremony tested positive for the virus.
Some of the people included political advisor Hope Hicks, former aide Kellyanne Conway, Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, of North Carolina, and Sen. Mike Lee, of Utah.
Doctors are now calling it a super spreader gathering.
"We've always said outdoor gatherings are better than indoor gatherings. Yes. But just because it's outdoors doesn't mean it's fine. And that's what we see in the Rose Garden," says Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Occasional mask use was the norm for President Trump over the past few months.
Now that he's hospitalized with the coronavirus, the White House released photos of him working with his nose and mouth exposed.
"The president wears a mask anytime he's around us. We're all wearing our N-95s, full PPE. He's the patient," says White House physician Dr. Sean Conley.
As the patient, legislators are using him as an example of what could come out of a super spreader event.
"It's a stark reminder of the reality and the danger. Yes, even if you're president of the United States," says Cuomo.
As contact tracing continues, President Trump remains in quarantine at Walter Reed Medical Center.
His physicians say that after he's released, they'll encourage him to wear a mask in public for as long as he's in their care.