Connecticut Leaders React to the President's COVID-19 Diagnosis

Trump speaks about coronavirus test at the White House
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

“This news is shocking,” said U.S Senator Richard Blumenthal in East Hartford on Friday.

Connecticut’s senior senator, like so many from both sides of the aisle, expressed hope of a full recovery for the president, while calling out complacency.

“If this disease can reach the White House it can infect anyone in any house anywhere,” he said.

“This just demonstrates that we’re battling a virus.  Everyone is susceptible,” said Connecticut’s GOP Chairman JR Romano.

Connecticut lawmakers just wrapped up a special session where social distancing and mask wearing were the norm.

“We put in a lot of precautions as far as the amount of people we would allow in the Senate chamber at any one time, when people were done speaking the areas and the desks where they spoke would get thoroughly cleaned, microphones would get changed,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff.

However, the president has been busy on the campaign trail, holding massive events, where masks are often urged but not always required.

An infectious diseases specialist from UConn Health talked to NBC Connecticut about what President Trump's doctors will monitor after his COVID-19 diagnosis.

“The fact that he is often seen without a mask could have perhaps led to this,” said Rep. Joe Poletta (R) Watertown.  “I am a big fan of face coverings when we cannot properly socially distance.  So, I can’t say that it came as a surprise. However, I am confident that he will make a speedy recovery.”

On Friday, the president’s campaign announced all events are in the process of being moved online or being temporarily postponed.

“I believe they’ll come up with creative ways as long as his health allows him in order to still interact with the people of this country,” said Romano.

The next presidential debate, scheduled for less than two weeks, could also go virtual, said Romano.

 “It could be the first Zoom presidential debate.  We don’t know.  I think it all depends on how the president’s feeling.”

Blumenthal called the president’s health a matter of national security.

“Maybe the Congress should be briefed on who in the White House has been infected, what their health is, and how widely this disease may have spread there.”

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy fired off a tweet saying everyone who came in close contact with the president should be tested before any Senate business can proceed.

Governor Ned Lamont announced more stringent testing within his own administration.

“It was a wakeup call. It was a wakeup call for a lot of people who are beginning to get very casual about covid and wearing the mask. I’ve been tested regularly, every two to three weeks for some months now. My staff is going to get tested more regularly than they have in the past. Susan and I will try to do events separately wherever possible especially if they’re indoors,” he said.

While urging the Trump Administration to produce more COVID-19 tests for states, Blumenthal admitted that he’s only been tested three times since the pandemic started.

“I was tested the last time several weeks ago,” said the senator. “I’m going to continue to be tested regularly as well as wearing masks, hand washing, physical distancing.”

Meanwhile, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, who herself is recovering from the virus, “I wouldn’t wish this virus on anyone,”  adding that she was praying for his quick recovery. 

Contact Us