Thirteen staff members of an iconic Minneapolis steakhouse were in quarantine after the restaurant held a fundraiser attended by President Donald Trump during his visit to Minnesota last week, the restaurant said Monday.
The 13 jobs for Murray’s Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis, which organized the fundraiser Wednesday at the Lake Minnetonka home of Marty Davis, CEO of quartz countertop maker Cambria Co. LLC. About 40 associates paid $ 200,000 per couple or $ 100,000 per person to get a chance to meet the president and hear him speak.
“Our staff were only there to work on the party and at no time did any of the staff come close to the president,”
Murray’s, a family-run restaurant since 1946, is famous as “Home of the Silver Butter Knife Steak”. It is popular with city entertainers, shakers, and sports people. A restaurant spokesperson, Chuck Sanger, said the restaurant is still unable to operate normally despite the quarantine.
Davis hasn’t returned any messages from the Associated Press since the White House announced Friday that the president had contracted COVID-19.
A guest at the Davis home in Shorewood, St. Paul philanthropist Helene Houle, said in an interview Monday that no one has come closer than six feet to the president. All guests had to wait in their cars to get tested before the event, he said, and they couldn’t get in until everyone tested negative.
“We got to take our pictures with President Trump, but we weren’t next to him, we were 6 to 8 feet away from him,” he said.
Then they took their assigned seats in the dining room, some distance from the podium where Trump spoke. Tables were spread out, although seating at each table was normally spaced, he said. Nobody was worried because they all tested negative, he said.
“He talked for a good hour,” Houle said. “We could ask him any questions we wanted. It was really exciting for me to be in the presence of the president,” he said, adding that dinner wasn’t served until Trump left for his rally that night in Duluth. “Everything was high enough. It was nice. The food was good.”
Also on Monday, two other prominent Republican Minnesota politicians who approached Trump during his visit said they tested negative. Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and US Senate candidate Jason Lewis both made statements saying they got the test results on Monday. Both were part of the committee that greeted Trump as he stepped off Air Force One in Minneapolis last Wednesday. Also with them was the leader of the domestic minority Kurt Daudt, who on Saturday announced that he had tested negative. They said they did not shake hands with the president and remained several meters away from him during the meeting, which lasted less than five minutes.
Gazelka, the state’s top elected GOP official, said he is following his doctor’s advice and continuing to restrict his activities. He said he would be tested again later this week to confirm the results. But Lewis, a former congressman who is challenging Democratic Senator Tina Smith, said he will get back on the campaign trail.
Three GOP congressmen who flew with Trump on Air Force One at his gathering in Duluth and back to Washington – representatives Tom Emmer, Pete Stauber and Jim Hagedorn – reported on Friday that they tested negative. Lewis joined them for the flight to Duluth. The three members of Congress were criticized by Democrats for taking a Delta Air Lines regular flight home to Minnesota on Friday night.
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