By Ryan Deto
PITTSBURGH — According to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, the Trump campaign is considering traveling to Pittsburgh for a campaign event, not a rally, on Monday. President Donald Trump tested positive for coronavirus on Oct. 2, and since then at least 34 people tied to the White House have been infected by COVID-19, according to an internal memo from Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Regulations from the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention say that people who come into contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus should quarantine for at least 14 days. White House aides won’t say exactly when Trump’s last negative coronavirus test was, but even next Monday is still less than 14 days from when Trump first tested positive, and much less for positive tests from other White House staff.
Pittsburgh’s biggest elected officials, both Democrats, are urging the Trump campaign to avoid Pittsburgh, especially given his recent COVID diagnosis.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald tweeted Wednesday night, saying “Thanks but no thanks” about the reported visit to Pittsburgh, and noted about Allegheny County’s ability to stem the spread of the virus after a spike this summer.
Thanks but no thanks.
After a spike this summer, we are doing very well on stopping the spread of #COVID19.
We won't jeopardize that success & I hope the *President of the United States* would never deliberately try to do so. https://t.co/rhSLSrrnSV
— Rich Fitzgerald (@votefitz) October 8, 2020
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto also took to Twitter, quote tweeting the Haberman report and reminding followers that people should be quarantined for 14 days after they come into contact with someone who has coronavirus.
He also reminded his followers to vote “like your life depends on it.”
I thought those who even were in the presence of COVID-19 are to quarantine for 14 days? One sure way that Pittsburgh’s residents can be heard…
Vote…like your life depends on it. https://t.co/k6vQqlDMAX
— bill peduto (@billpeduto) October 8, 2020
CDC regulations do say that people who test positive can end quarantine 10 days after they first started to feel symptoms, and they have received negative tests. Trump’s doctors reported that he started to feel symptoms on Oct. 1, which would put an Oct. 12 visit to Pittsburgh just after 10 days. But, many other people in Trump’s circle have also tested positive for coronavirus, and it is unclear who will be traveling to Pittsburgh if the campaign visits.
Trump advisor Stephen Miller, for example, tested positive for COVID-19 on the eve of Wednesday’s vice presidential debate. .
The Trump campaign has not confirmed the New York Times report about possibly holding an event in Pittsburgh.
Ryan Deto is a reporter for Pittsburgh City Paper, where this story first appeared.