U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is under coronavirus quarantine, one day after attending his own poorly-attended Christmas party. Pompeo is currently testing negative, according to the State Dept.
Pompeo and his wife Susan (photo) held an indoor Christmas party on Tuesday, inviting 900 guests. Only about 70 RSVP’d and even fewer showed, The Washington Post reports. The State Dept. is not releasing the name of the person who tested positive or indicating how the Secretary came into contact with them, but says Pompeo “is being closely monitored by the Department’s medical team.”
The Post adds that “Pompeo, whose name was on the invitation and who was scheduled to speak at the event, canceled his speech and tapped a substitute speaker.”
Politico reports Pompeo “has been patchy in his efforts to follow social distancing rules recommended by public health experts,” adding that “certain settings he has appeared without a mask,” and noting that the Secretary’s own holiday parties “appear to violate the State Department’s own pandemic-related guidelines.”
The ultra-conservative Secretary, who is widely seen as using his State Dept. post as a launchpad for a 2024 presidential run, has been secretly hosting large, fancy parties he calls “Madison Dinners” at State for years, at taxpayer expense, even during the pandemic. The guest lists generally include more donors than diplomats, and are seen by some as tools to help him in a White House run.
Pompeo was slated to attend the President’s Cabinet meeting Wednesday, only the second such meeting Trump has held this year.
Should Pompeo test positive for coronavirus he would be about the 60th person in Trump’s orbit to have COVID-19.
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