Ben Carson tests positive for virus after attending White House party

Ben Carson is being treated for COVID at Walter Reed – and top Trump aide in charge of legal battle to fight election battle is positive too after mask-free White House election party

  • Housing Secretary Dr. Ben Carson tested positive for COVID-19, an aide said and is being treated in Walter Reed
  • Distinguished neurosurgeon turned failed Republican presidential  
  • Also testing  
  • News comes after White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows tested positive 
  • Five other White House aides got infected, as did one Trump campaign aide
  • Carson and Meadows attended Trump Election Night party
  • Carson also traveled to Michigan for a Trump rally days before the election
  • Public health officials had warned against gatherings and raised alarm about Trump rallies
  • Previous White House celebration for Amy Coney Barrett was superspreader event 

Housing Department Secretary Dr. Ben Carson has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office announced Monday – making him the latest official who attended a White House election night party to get COVID-19.

He tested positive for the virus Monday, his deputy chief of staff Coalter Baker told ABC News.

The word comes days after it was revealed White House chief of staff Mark Meadows also contracted the virus. 

Shortly afterwards, Bloomberg News reported that David Bossie, the Trump aide in charge of his fight to overturn Joe Biden’s apparent election victory, tested positive for it on Sunday too. 

Bossie was supposed to be the ‘James Baker’ figure leading the charge for Trump to win his series of legal challenges – most of them apparently still unfiled – against election results in states including Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Under CDC guidelines however he will have to quarantine for two weeks. He is known to have traveled to Arizona on Thursday so all his contacts leading the legal fight to overturn Biden’s majority there will have to be traced, tested and may have to quarantine. 

Five other White House and and a Trump campaign staffer have tested positive for the virus. 

According to the statement: ‘Secretary Carson has tested positive for the coronavirus. He is in good spirits and feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery.’

It was not immediately clear why Carson’s test was performed at Walter Reed, the military hospital where Trump received treatment and where many top government officials receive care.

,Us Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson (C), with his wife Candy Carson (R), applauds as US President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a "Make America Great Again" rally at Oakland County International Airport, on October 30, 2020, in Waterford Township, Michigan. He also attended a White House election night party. He tested positive for the coronavirus Monday

,Us Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson (C), with his wife Candy Carson (R), applauds as US President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a “Make America Great Again” rally at Oakland County International Airport, on October 30, 2020, in Waterford Township, Michigan. He also attended a White House election night party. He tested positive for the coronavirus Monday

Testing times: David Bossie (left) the 'James Baker' figure in the Trump fight against losing the election went to Arizona Thursday. He is now positive for COVID. Reps Debbie Lasko (center) and Paul Gosar (right) were with him at a press conference announcing a lawsuit which so far has gone nowhere

Testing times: David Bossie (left) the ‘James Baker’ figure in the Trump fight against losing the election went to Arizona Thursday. He is now positive for COVID. Reps Debbie Lasko (center) and Paul Gosar (right) were with him at a press conference announcing a lawsuit which so far has gone nowhere

Carson is the latest person to attend Trump's election night party to test positive for the virus

Carson is the latest person to attend Trump’s election night party to test positive for the virus

Most participants were unmasked at the event

Most participants were unmasked at the event

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also tested positive

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also tested positive

Trump took experimental medicines including Regeneron, which he claims ‘cured’ him, following his own positive test and stay at the hospital.

Carson was at the Election Night Party, which Meadows also attended.

Weeks before the election, Trump and first lady Melania contracted the virus, which complicated Trump’s closing message that the nation was ’rounding the corner.’

The U.S. has been suffering record new infections of about 1,000 per day the last several days.

The White House has refused to disclose how many people who attended the party have gotten the coronavirus, and the revelations have come from media reports.

It was a similar story for the White House party announcing Trump’s nomination of now Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, which became a superspreader event. The ceremony also included indoor parties where officials were unmasked.

The news broke on a day Joe Biden was announcing his new coronavirus advisory panel of ‘distinguished public health experts,’ and Pfizer announced new progress in its vaccine. The company was not part of the administration’s Operation Warp Speed, which funneled billions to companies in advance of a viable vaccine discovery in order to speed production. 

‘Maybe it saves the life of a member of a place of worship .. Maybe it saves your life. So please, I implore you, wear a mask. A mask is not a political statement,’ he said. 

Another key member of Trump’s circle, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, revealed that he tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, although he has ‘no clue’ when he was infected. 

STATE-BY-STATE: WHERE TRUMP IS SUING AND HOW IT’S GOING

PENNSYLVANIA

BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 45,646

Several court battles are pending in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

The Trump campaign is fighting Philadelphia election officials over vote counting in the city, which continued on Saturday. 

A state court on Thursday granted the campaign closer access to the proceedings, a ruling that officials have appealed.

The City of Philadelphia Board of Elections has said its observation rules were needed for security reasons and to maintain social distancing protocols.

Trump’s campaign on Wednesday filed a motion to intervene in a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a decision from the state’s highest court that allowed election officials to count mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday’s Election Day that were delivered through Friday.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Friday night ordered county election boards in the state to separate mail-in ballots received after 8 p.m. EST on Election Day.

Pennsylvania election officials have said those ballots were already being separated.

The justices previously ruled there was not enough time to decide the merits of the case before Election Day but indicated they might revisit it afterwards.

Alito, joined by fellow conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, said in a written opinion that there was a ‘strong likelihood’ the Pennsylvania court’s decision violated the U.S. Constitution.

Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar has said late-arriving ballots are a tiny proportion of the overall vote in the state.

Rudy Giuliani unveiled a ‘witness’ to his claims – a Republican poll watcher – on Saturday but the man, Daryl Brooks, has not been included in any legal papers. He was previously convicted of exposing himself to underage girls. 

ARIZONA 

BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 16,985

Trump’s campaign said on Saturday it had sued in Arizona, alleging that the state’s most populous county incorrectly rejected votes cast on Election Day by some voters.

The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court in Maricopa County, said poll workers told some voters to press a button after a machine had detected an ‘overvote.’

The campaign said that decision disregarded voters’ choices in those races, and the lawsuit suggested those votes could prove ‘determinative’ in the outcome of the presidential race.

It is a modification of an earlier suit which was submitted and then withdrawn claiming that Trump voters were given sharpies to mark their ballots and claiming this made them more prone to error. The ‘sharpie-gate’ claims have n basis in fact, Arizona’s secretary of state says.

NEVADA 

BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 36,186 

A voter, a member of the media and two candidate campaigns sued Nevada’s secretary of state and other officials to prevent the use of a signature-verification system in populous Clark County and to provide public access to vote counting.

A federal judge rejected the request on Friday, saying there was no evidence the county was doing anything unlawful.

No new suits have been lodged so far.  

Trump campaign officials have also claimed evidence that non-residents have voted but have not sued. 

GEORGIA 

BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 10.620 

The Trump campaign on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in state court in Chatham County that alleged late-arriving ballots were improperly mingled with valid ballots, and asked a judge to order late-arriving ballots be separated and not be counted.

The case was dismissed on Thursday. No new suits have been filed. The state is going to a recount.

MICHIGAN 

BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 146,123 

Trump’s campaign on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Michigan to halt the vote count in the state. The lawsuit alleged that campaign poll watchers were denied ‘meaningful access’ to counting of ballots, plus access to surveillance video footage of ballot drop boxes.

On Thursday, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens dismissed the case, saying there was no legal basis or evidence to halt the vote and grant requests.

No new suit has been filed. 

U.S. POSTAL SERVICE 

The U.S. Postal Service said about 1,700 ballots had been identified in Pennsylvania at processing facilities during two sweeps on Thursday and were being delivered to election officials, according to a court filing early Friday.

The Postal Service said 1,076 ballots, had been found at its Philadelphia Processing and Distribution Center. About 300 were found at the Pittsburgh processing center, 266 at a Lehigh Valley facility and others at other Pennsylvania processing centers.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington is overseeing a lawsuit by Vote Forward, the NAACP, and Latino community advocates.

Sullivan on Thursday ordered twice-daily sweeps at Postal Service facilities serving states with extended ballot receipt deadlines. 

The judge plans to hold a status conference on Monday.

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