To keep this building safe


Meanwhile, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany sought to reassure the news media that the White House testing procedures are sound. I wanted to draw attention to this quote from McEnany:

“We have put in place the guidelines that our experts have put forward to keep this building safe, which means contact tracing,” McEnany told reporters during Friday’s news briefing. “All of the recommended guidelines we have for businesses that have essential workers, we are now putting them in place here in the White House. So as America reopens safely, the White House is continuing to operate safely.”

Oh contact tracing. That’s important, is it? Then…

Greg Sargent underlines it:

The careful reader will note a jarring juxtaposition here. McEnany claims both that the United States is reopening safely and that the White House is operating safely. But only one of these two — the White House — actually has the sort of testing regime the White House itself is now implicitly acknowledging is a prerequisite to safety.

And it’s not us! It’s Trump and his stooges and it’s not us.

The rest of the country largely lacks this level of testing — because Trump doesn’t want to take the steps necessary to stand up a robust federal testing regime.

Because it would benefit us and not him.

It’s true that the fact that Miller tested positive — as one of Trump’s valets did earlier this week — shows that having robust testing isn’t absolutely foolproof. The coronavirus can still get in. But as Philip Bump notes, having that intensity of testing is exactly what prevented it from spreading.

That’s the whole point behind the idea that you need far more robust testing and tracing to reopen the economy safely. Experts have noted that you need not just dramatically ramped-up testing resources, but also a robust effort at contact tracing — which entails tracking and testing those who have had contact with infected people — to make this possible.

Yes but all that costs money, and it’s money Trump would rather put in his own pocket.

It is of course to be expected that they have access to these protections, because Trump is the president. But Trump is making a choice not to meaningfully take the steps necessary to extend this to the rest of us.

And no one in the world is surprised.

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