Donors who donated US $ 250,000 were invited to attend a round table, photo opportunity, and reception with the President. According to a source, the round table comprised 18 donors and was held indoors at socially distant tables.
Another source says that the round table attendees were tested for coronavirus upon arrival and that no one was wearing masks.
Three attendees told CNN that most attendees at the events were not wearing masks. All three say they were not contacted by any contact tracer.
The president announced that he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus about eight hours after leaving the fundraiser when he was back at the White House.
The decision to travel and participate in the fundraiser despite knowing they were exposed to the coronavirus is another example of the laconic approach taken by the White House and government to masking and Covid-19 prevention policies.
An hour and a half before the fundraiser, some senior officers and the president were informed that Hope Hicks had tested positive for coronavirus, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters Friday.
The decision was made to continue the fundraiser despite Trump’s reveal; Participants said they were not notified that the president was exposed to Covid-19.
The President arrived at 2:33 p.m. and attended the indoor and outdoor events.
When donors gave or raised $ 50,000, they were invited for a photo opportunity with Trump.
The two Texas attendees who took the photo opportunity said they had been tested for coronavirus before arriving at the VIP reception where they took their picture with the president.
They said everyone spoke to Trump for less than a minute while the photo was taken and held six feet apart. The participants at the VIP reception did not wear masks, but the event staff did.
The third event the President attended was an outdoor reception open to all donors. New Jersey’s Katherine Hermes told CNN that Trump was standing on a podium, socially distant from attendees, holding a question-and-answer session.
She and the participants from Texas say they were kept in two groups separated by barricades.
The questions asked by the donors ranged from asking why there had been no arrests and prosecutions of leading Democrats regarding campaign strategy, according to Hermes. In response to being asked about arrests and prosecutions, she recalls Trump’s response that there was so much he couldn’t tell the crowd.
The group closer to the president had been tested for coronavirus; Hermes’ group was only present for the outdoor reception and only received temperature checks and was kept further away.
The two groups did not mix, and most of the participants in both groups were not wearing masks, according to Hermes and the Texas participants.
The campaign emailed attendees after the president tested positive
On Friday lunchtime, the Trump campaign emailed attendees that the president had tested positive for coronavirus.
“We’re writing today, unfortunately, to inform you that, as you’ve probably seen, President Trump confirmed last night that he and the First Lady had been tested for COVID-19 and had positive test results,” the CNN said received email. “We would like to draw your attention to this out of caution.”
The two participants from Texas said they would self-isolate and were tested for coronavirus. Hermes told CNN she was only present at the outdoor speech and would not be quarantined or tested. He said, “I wasn’t anywhere near the man.”
CNN’s Kevin Liptak and Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report.