Barr changes stance, will now quarantine amid virus outbreak

According to the Justice Department, Barr has had four negative COVID-19 tests since the president’s word of his own diagnosis.

William Barr, the attorney general of the United States, has decided to quarantine for “several days” after being exposed to coronavirus. Barr attended the White House event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, which is now being described as a superspreader gathering. 

The event, which took place last Saturday, Sept. 25, was held mainly in the Rose Garden of the White House. However, some parts of the reception were hosted indoors. 

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Attorney General William Barr (center) and former presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway talk in the White House Rose Garden after President Donald Trump introduced his nominee to the Supreme Court late last month. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

So far, 12 people who participated have tested positive for COVID-19, including President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump

Photos from the event show Barr and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows standing in close proximity to former White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, who has since tested positive. None of them were wearing masks. 

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According to the Justice Department, Barr has had four negative COVID-19 tests since the president’s announcement that he’d been diagnosed with it. He attended a meeting at his headquarters, but stayed home during the weekend. 

A spokesperson said on Sunday that Barr will be self-quarantining out of “an abundance of caution.” 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a self-quarantine period of 14 days for anyone who has been in close proximity to a person who has tested positive to avoid possibly spreading the virus to others. 

Read More: Republican senator shown without mask on Delta Airlines flight

Aside from Trumps and Conway, North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien and advisor Chris Christie are among those close to the president who have all tested positive for the virus. Trump aide Hope Hicks tested positive last week. Hicks accompanied the president to the presidential debate last Tuesday. 

More than 150 people attended the Rose Garden announcement. According to the Washington Post, guests were tested on the day of the event, and when they tested negative, they were told that they no longer needed to wear masks. Most attendees did not wear a face covering. 

In addition to members of the Trump administration who tested positive were three White House reporters who attended the event. Monday morning, it was revealed that Conway’s 16-year-old daughter, Claudia, also had tested positive.

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