An attendee at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference has tested positive for the coronavirus, the American Conservative Union confirmed Saturday.
The exposure occurred previously to the conference held at Maryland's National Harbor, the ACU said in a statement.
“A New Jersey hospital tested the person, and CDC confirmed the positive result,” the ACU said. “The individual is under the care of medical professionals in the state of New Jersey, and has been quarantined.”
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the gathering. Numerous administration and cabinet officials also attended, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, HHS Secretary Alex Azar, newly minted White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and two of the president’s children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said the White House is aware of the attendee testing positive for the virus.
“At this time there is no indication that either President Trump or Vice President Pence met with or were in close proximity to the attendee,” Grisham said in a statement. “The President’s physician and United States Secret Service have been working closely with White House Staff and various agencies to ensure every precaution is taken to keep the First Family and the entire White House Complex safe and healthy.”
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said those who attended or worked at the conference may be at risk of contracting the virus and urged any of this year's attendees experiencing symptoms to reach out to their health-care provider.
“Immediately after learning of this individual’s interactions in our state, we began coordinating with the White House, the CDC and federal officials, the New Jersey Department of Health, Prince George’s County officials, and conference organizers,” Hogan said.
The first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, according to Mayor Muriel Bowser. POLITICO has confirmed that person is not the CPAC attendee.
The U.S. death toll from the virus rose to 19 on Saturday, and the number of U.S. cases climbed over 300.
In his speech at CPAC, Trump defended his administration's handling of the outbreak, which was then in its early stages.
"My administration has taken the most aggressive action in modern history to control our borders and protect Americans from the coronavirus that came from China,” he said.
“Everything is really under control, but when they put a mic in front of a Democrat and the Democrats say, doesn't even know what's going on, how is Trump doing, he's doing a terrible job. Well, sadly I'd probably say the same about them,” he said. “You know. I guess it's a natural reflex.”