Donors who donated $ 250,000 were able to attend a panel discussion, photo opportunity, and reception with the President, according to the invitation to the event. The panel discussion included 18 donors, according to one source, and was held indoors at socially distant tables.
Another source says the roundtable participants were tested for coronavirus upon their arrival and that no one wore masks.
Three attendees told CNN that most people at the events wore no masks; all three say they have not been contacted by any contact detectors.
The president announced that he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus about eight hours after leaving the fundraiser when he returned to the White House.
The decision to travel and participate in fundraising despite the awareness of being exposed to the coronavirus is another example of the White House and administration’s apathetic approach to wearing the mask and to the prevention policies of Covid-19.
An hour and a half before the fundraiser, senior staff members and the president were informed that Hope Hicks had tested positive for the coronavirus, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters.
The decision was made to continue the fundraiser despite Trump exposure; attendees say they were not informed that the president had been exposed to Covid-19.
Arriving at 2:33 pm, the president then attended the indoor and outdoor events.
If donors gave or raised $ 50,000, they were invited to a photo opportunity with Trump.
The two attendees from Texas who attended the photo opportunity said they were tested for the coronavirus before arriving at the VIP reception where they took the photo with the president.
They said each of them individually conversed with Trump for less than a minute as the photo was taken and held six feet away. The VIP reception attendees wore no masks, they said, but the event staff did.
The third event attended by the President was an outdoor reception open to all donors. New Jersey resident Katherine Hermes told CNN that Trump was on a podium, socially distant from attendees, and held a question-and-answer session.
She and the Texas participants say they were held in two groups, separated by barricades.
Questions asked by donors ranged from why there had been no arrests and prosecutions of Democratic leaders to campaign strategy, according to Hermes. In response to the question about arrests and prosecutions, remember that Trump responded by saying there were so many things he couldn’t tell the crowd.
The group closest to the president had been tested for coronavirus; Hermes’ group was only present for the outdoor reception and only received temperature checks and was kept further away.
The two groups did not mix and most of the participants in both groups wore no masks, according to Hermes and the Texas participants.
The campaign sent an email to attendees after the president tested positive
At noon Friday, the Trump campaign sent an email to attendees officially informing them that the president has tested positive for coronavirus.
“Unfortunately we are writing today to inform you that, as you have probably seen, President Trump confirmed late last night that he and the First Lady have been tested for COVID-19 and have produced positive results,” reads the email, obtained. from CNN. “For an abundance of caution, we want to bring this to your attention.”
The two participants in Texas said they would self-isolate and be tested for coronavirus. Hermes told CNN that she was only there for the open talk, and would not be quarantined or tested, saying, “I was nowhere near the man.”
CNN’s Kevin Liptak and Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report.