But the office was shut down for its first deep cleaning in weeks after a senior campaign official tested positive for the virus. The decision to conduct the cleaning came after two months of flouting the Trump administration’s own public health guidance: There are no face coverings or temporary barriers between desks at headquarters, and leaders have limited efforts to implement social distancing.
The campaign’s lack of safety protections were visible during Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the office last month, during which he posed for a photo with more than 70 campaign staff, closely packed together and without wearing face coverings — an image that infuriated local officials, who called on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to take action and enforce state public health orders on universal masking indoors and social distancing. But Northam, a Democrat, ultimately declined to do so…
Facing no threat of enforcement, the Trump campaign has continued to make its own rules on coronavirus protections, said the individuals, who requested anonymity to speak freely. For instance, staff have been told to wear masks outside the office, in case they’re spotted by reporters, but they’ve been instructed that it’s acceptable to remove them in the office, the individuals said, adding that staff also publicly joke about the risk of coronavirus and play down the pandemic’s threat.
“You get made fun of, if you wear a mask,” said one person. “There’s social pressure not to do it.”