- The Washington Times
Saturday, October 10, 2020

Rep. Adam B. Schiff blasted “morally bankrupt” President Trump for holding a public event at the White House on Saturday barely a week since disclosing he was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

Mr. Schiff, California Democrat, slammed Mr. Trump on Twitter shortly before the president spoke from a White House balcony to address several hundred supporters gathered outside his residence.

The congressman, who also chairs the powerful House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, reiterated concerns about the last evening of the Republican National Convention having been held at the White House as well.

“It was illegal for Donald Trump to hold his nominating convention at the White House in August,” Mr. Schiff tweeted. “And it is morally bankrupt for Donald Trump to hold another super-spreader rally at the White House today. The law and ethics don’t matter to this President. Nor does our health.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Trump’s event at the White House marked the first time he spoke in person to his supporters in the eight days since announcing he tested positive for COVID-19, the disease the virus causes.

Although it is not clear when or how Mr. Trump caught the coronavirus, he is among several people who tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after attending the same White House event last month.

Public health recommendations meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak were not enforced during the Sept. 26 event, resulting in a number of attendees to forego wearing face masks.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday that practice contributed to the White House hosting a so-called “super-spreader.”

“We had a super-spreader event in the White House, and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks. So the data speak for themselves,” said Dr. Fauci.

Mr. Schiff, one of the president’s fiercest critics on Capitol Hill, previously condemned the president Friday on Twitter for planning to hold this weekend’s event outside the White House.

“I don’t think Donald Trump wants even more Americans to be infected with COVID-19,” Mr. Schiff tweeted. “But if he did, would he be doing anything different?”

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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