Trump Loyalists Hit with New Wave of Coronavirus After Election Party

November 13, 2020by Jennifer Jacobs and Anders Melin, Bloomberg News
Corey Lewandowski, former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 17, 2019. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)

WASHINGTON — A new wave of people in Donald Trump’s orbit — including longtime adviser Corey Lewandowski and Republican lobbyist Jeff Miller — have tested positive for the coronavirus after attending an election night party at the White House.

It’s unclear if either of them contracted the virus at the White House.

Billionaire shipping magnates Elizabeth and Richard Uihlein, who are among the president’s biggest donors, also tested positive for the virus, though it’s not clear whether they attended the party. Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Richard Walters, who wasn’t present, tested positive on Thursday, according to a party official.

Lewandowski, who has been helping contest Joe Biden’s election victory in Pennsylvania, tested positive on Wednesday, according to two people familiar with the matter. It wasn’t immediately clear when Miller was diagnosed.

Bloomberg News previously reported that a number of others who attended the Nov. 3 White House event — including Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump campaign adviser David Bossie — also contracted the virus.

About 200 people attended the party, mingling in close quarters largely without masks. But it’s not certain whether those who attended the party contracted the virus at the event.

Elizabeth Uihlein, the chief executive officer of shipping-supply company Uline Inc., announced her illness in a memo sent to her roughly 7,000 employees on Wednesday afternoon. Richard Uihlein is the company’s chairman.

“After all these long months, I thought we’d never get it,” she wrote. “Well, Trump go(t) it … If we had not been around people with COVID, we would not have been tested.”

In a statement, Uline said the company doesn’t disclose health information about specific employees, citing health privacy law.

“Uline has instituted numerous changes to normal operating policies to respond to COVID-19 with health and safety in mind,” the Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin-based company said. “As we are made aware of positive cases among Uline personnel, we continue to promptly notify others who may be exposed to the virus, so the proper protocols can be quickly put into place.”

The Uihleins, who are worth around $4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, are outspoken Republicans and have donated tens of millions of dollars to Trump and conservative causes in recent years.

Elizabeth Uihlein has been critical of government restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. In March, she sent an email to dozens of Illinois lawmakers saying that “while you may think that government-enforced closing of events, schools” help prevent the virus, it also contributes to “unnecessary panic and fear in the American people.”

___

(c)2020 Bloomberg News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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