The White House plans to host a swearing-in ceremony Monday night for Judge Amy Coney Barrett following her confirmation vote in the Senate, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Monday morning.
Meadows, speaking to reporters at the White House, said the administration is “doing the best we can to encourage as much social distancing as possible” at the event and that the ceremony will be held outside, weather permitting. (RELATED: Did Amy Coney Barrett Win Over America?)
ABC first reported on the ceremony Sunday evening. The publication noted that a previous event celebrating President Donald Trump’s nomination of Barrett to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing had been connected to a coronavirus outbreak among administration staff.
The Rose Garden event where President Trump revealed his pick of Judge Amy Coney Barrett has often been referred to as a “super spreader“ as several individuals that attended were infected with the coronavirus including the president. Reporting w/ @Santucci https://t.co/t91v4irquU
— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) October 26, 2020
Meadows pushed back on the idea Monday that the Barrett announcement ceremony was a “super spreader” event.
“The very first event, while there’s a whole lot of connections that have been made with who was at the event, and who came down with it, we’ve been able to look at that and track as many as three different areas where the virus actually infected different people within the White House,” he told reporters Monday. “It didn’t all come from that particular event.”
Meadows added that Vice President Mike Pence’s presence at the Monday ceremony was still “in flux.” Multiple members of Pence’s office, including chief of staff Marc Short, tested positive for coronavirus over the past week.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized Pence as the vice president hasn’t quarantined after several of his aides tested positive.
Vice President Pence cannot come to the Senate because of his exposure to multiple COVID-positive staffers. His purely ceremonial and non-essential presence would just put Senators, staff, and Capitol workers at risk.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) October 26, 2020
The president will spend Monday campaigning throughout Pennsylvania and is currently scheduled to return to the White House just before 8:00 pm EST. White House officials did not respond to Daily Caller’s inquiries by press time on the specific timing for the Barrett ceremony.