Alyssa Farah: Dr. Conley was trying to "project confidence" and lift the president's spirits 

White House communications director Alyssa Farah stopped to talk to reporters at 1:38 pm, following her Fox News hit. 
 

White House communications director Alyssa Farah

HIGHLIGHTS: 

► Alyssa Farah said she cannot confirm reports that two White House residence staff members have tested positive for the virus.
► Alyssa Farah said she will find and share the most up-to-date numbers of White House staff who have tested positive for COVID19.
► Alyssa Farah: "We're giving updates as we have been about numbers within the West Wing and initiating contact tracing."
► Explaining the discrepancies in Dr. Conley and chief of staff Mark Meadows' statements to the press yesterday, Farah said Dr. Conley was giving a "snapshot" update from Saturday morning when the president was "doing extremely well." "Friday was a little bit more concerning," and he was giving an update from Saturday morning.
► Alyssa Farah: Dr. Conley was trying to "project confidence" and lift the president's spirits. 

 



Q: Has the White House asked the CDC to initiate contact tracing after the Saturday event in the Rose Garden with the Supreme Court?

Alyssa Farah: She says they did not ask the CDC to initiate contract tracing but "We have an in-house, White House epidemiologist, part of the White House medical unit, and then we're following CDC guidelines."
 
Q: Can you talk about what happened today with Dr. Conley acknowledging that he was not fully transparent with the American people yesterday?

Alyssa Farah: "Just kind of two points on that, it's kind of a snapshot in time. Saturday the president was doing extremely well. Friday was a little bit more concerning, but he continues to trend upward. So Dr. Conley was giving an update from that morning." 

"The other point I would make, which is what Conley alluded to, is when you're treating a patient, you want to project confidence, you want to lift their spirits and that was the intent. But the Chief of Staff Meadows came out to give you guys more information just to try to be as transparent as we can."

Q: What would treatment look like back at the White House?

Alyssa Farah: "I would defer to the doctors. We do have a fully operating medical team here. I don't want to get ahead of any announcements if they will or won't move him, but there's a lot that we can do here from the White House, the residence."

Q: Will fewer people be on the White House complex this week?

Alyssa Farah: "We're following our general protocols which are in line with CDC guidelines. When we had a previous positive case in the West Wing a few months ago, certain people who were potentially exposed versus second-degree contact stayed home for the period. So we'll be working that way. We're wearing masks when we can't socially distance, just the general protocol. We also go through routine cleanings of the building, just to make sure surfaces are covered. But we are fully functioning, we're gonna be working throughout."

Q: Update on First Lady

Alyssa Farah: "No update other than the update that was provided. My understanding is her symptoms were mild, but I've not gotten an update since the last one."

Q: At what point Thursday did POTUS receive his first COVID rapid test?

Alyssa Farah: "I do not have a tick-tock on that. I'm happy to try to track that down. There are certain sensitivities on how that information is shared. 

Q: What was the justification for having the President still go to Bedminster on Thursday and meet with donors?

Alyssa Farah: "That was a decision made by White House operations because he wasn't deemed to pose a threat but I'll get you an answer on the specifics."

Farah was not wearing a mask. She said she was wearing one en route to her Fox News hit and believes she left it at her live shot.


 

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