Trump's Campaign Manager Bill Stepien Also Has COVID-19

Stepien is merely the latest person closely involved with Trump to announce a COVID-19 diagnosis. Prior to this wave of news, Trump had downplayed the virus.


Image via Getty/SAUL LOEB/AFP



Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien has COVID-19.

Stepien, who took the role back in July and replaced Brad Parscale, is revealed in a new Politico report from Friday as having received the diagnosis that evening. At the time, according to an unnamed senior campaign official, Stepien was experiencing "mild flu-like symptoms."

He is expected to remain quarantined until he recovers, which means he will now be working remotely. Deputy campaign manager Justin Clark, meanwhile, will now "oversee" the team's Arlington headquarters.

With Trump sidelined, the campaign is looking into ways to stage virtual events and plan to rely on surrogates for in person events, such as Pence, Lara, Don Jr., and Eric. Each have tested negative

— Alex Isenstadt (@politicoalex) October 3, 2020

Stepien is the latest on the Trump team to announce a positive COVID-19 test in the wake of POTUS' own reported diagnosis. RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and former White House adviser Kellyanne Conway have also announced infections.

Before the news cycle of the last few days, however, many Republicans—Trump among them—made a habit of publicly downplaying the seriousness of the virus while also ignoring social distancing guidelines.  Just last month, for example, Trump falsely told a rally crowd that the virus "affects virtually nobody." At the same rally, Trump also told schools around the country to open their doors. 

"Now we know it affects elderly people, elderly people with heart problems and other problems, if they have other problems," Trump said at the time. "That's what it really affects. That's it. You know, in some states, thousands of people, nobody young. Below the age of 18, like, nobody. They have a strong immune system. Who knows? Take your hat off to the young because they have a hell of an immune system. But it affects virtually nobody. It's an amazing thing."

"It affects virtually nobody," Trump says of the coronavirus, which has now killed 200,000 Americans and counting

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 22, 2020

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