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Journalist who covered Trump in Tampa tests positive for COVID-19

Kirby Wilson, Steve Contorno and Samantha J. Gross, Miami Herald on

Published in News & Features

BELLEAIR, Fla. -- A member of the media who covered President Donald Trump's trip to the Tampa Bay area Friday has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the White House Correspondents' Association.

The association's president, Zeke Miller, a reporter for The Associated Press, wrote in a message to the group's members Sunday about the member's positive test.

"We've already reached out to those who were in the pools with this individual, and the White House Medical Unit is conducting additional contact tracing and providing follow-on tests for those in the pools and potentially exposed," Miller's message read.

The positive test came barely a day after the journalist stood in close proximity to dozens of other reporters, photographers -- and the country's top elected official at the Pelican Golf Club in Belleair.

Also in the room with the journalist was Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Rick Scott, state Sen. Wilton Simpson, Pinellas County Commissioner Kathleen Peters and state Rep. Danny Perez.

Miller declined to name the journalist Monday, citing privacy concerns.


The White House declined to comment.

Out-of-town reporters arrived in Tampa via Air Force One. Then, local and out of town media members were escorted from Tampa International Airport to the Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, where Trump, DeSantis and other elected officials were scheduled to hold a news conference on Tropical Storm Isaias and the state's COVID-19 response.

The journalist who later tested positive would have been present throughout that news conference, which lasted about 45 minutes. At the event, the dignitaries were seated around a table, masked. The several dozen reporters who were there to cover the event stood shoulder to shoulder at the other end of the room, unable to socially distance. The journalists were masked as well.

Two Tampa Bay Times journalists covered the event. Neither is experiencing symptoms, but the Times has asked them to isolate for 10 days.


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