Even though additional precautions have been undertaken by the White House, public health experts and aides in previous administrations warn that it is nearly impossible to eliminate all risk of exposure during such trips. Those who have planned similar trips for past presidents also warn of the massive footprints the swings cover and the huge burden they place on local governments, many of which are already stretched thin because of the pandemic.
“The White House is a potential hot zone for COVID — aides and valets close to the president are diagnosing positive,” said Dr. Vin Gupta, a pulmonologist and global health policy expert who is an NBC News and MSNBC contributor.
“If I’m a factory owner, do I really want a large group of visitors from the West Wing visiting me now under these circumstances, just to snap a few pictures? No,” Gupta said, urging the president to “lead by example” by limiting his nonessential travel.