The White House plans to hold a swearing-in ceremony for Judge Amy Coney Barrett later tonight following her expected confirmation to the United States Supreme Court despite coronavirus concerns.
According to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, once Barrett is confirmed by the Senate, “then we expect for a swearing in to happen later this evening if all goes well.”
“We’re doing… the best we can to encourage as much social distancing as possible. It’ll be outdoors if it goes off as planned right now,” Meadows said. “And still continue to do testing in and around those that are critical to the mission to try to get there.”
A Rose Garden event for Barrett last month has been credited as the source for an outbreak of coronavirus in the White House. President Donald Trump tested positive, as did several high-profile members of his staff, including counselor to the president Hope Hicks and Kayleigh McEnany, the press secretary.
Responding to criticisms that tonight’s event could spark a repeat of last month’s event, Meadows said: “The very first event, while there’s a whole lot of connects 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. So it didn’t all come from that particular event.”
Barrett’s confirmation is seen as a victory for President Trump and Republicans just a week before the general election, securing a conservative majority on the court for decades.