A person who attended the conference of top political conservatives in the US has been found infected with the coronavirus. According to American media reports, the coronavirus-infected patient shook hands with US President Donald Trump too.
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is the country’s largest annual public meeting of political conservatives, involving thousands of people. In addition to US President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence, several cabinet members and top White House officials attended the event held near Washington on 26-29 February. This, officials said, poses a grave risk to American society.
The American Conservative Union said, quoting the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, on Saturday that the virus had spread before the conference. A hospital in New Jersey examined the person and he tested positive.
This patient has since been quarantined and is under medical care in New Jersey.
The White House said there was no indication that either Trump or Pence had been close to the infected attendee.
The statement said that this person had no contact with either the president or the vice-president. It said he did not attend the programmes in the main auditorium. Union chairman Matt Schlapp, however, told The Washington Post that he had spoken to the infected person at the event.
Schlapp said the man shook hands with Trump on the last day of the conference. When asked about the coronavirus reaching the White House, Trump said, “I am not worried.” He said that despite the outbreak of coronavirus, the rallies of his re-election campaign will continue.
Asked if he was concerned about the virus getting closer, the US president said, “No, I’m not concerned at all. No, I’m not. We’ve done a great job.”
When asked whether his thousand-person campaign rallies would would continue in light of the CPAC case, the president replied: “We’ll have tremendous rallies.”