The president of the University of Notre Dame has tested positive for COVID-19 after generating controversy for shaking hands and not wearing a mask during a recent White House visit.
Rev. John Jenkins, 66, attended a Rose Garden gathering on Saturday, where President Trump announced his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Notre Dame president was spotted standing shoulder-to-shoulder with guests and not wearing a mask, prompting him to release a public apology on Monday.
Jenkins announced on Friday in a statement that he has tested positive for COVID-19. The news comes just hours after Trump also announced he tested positive for COVID-19.
“During self-quarantine this week, University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSC, learned that a colleague with whom he has been in regular contact tested positive for COVID-19. Fr Jenkins was tested and found to be positive for COVID-19 too,” the statement read, noting that Jenkins has entered a quarantine.
“My symptoms are mild and I will continue to work from home,” Jenkins said. “This positive test is a good reminder for me and perhaps for all of how vigilant we need to be.”
BREAKING: Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins, who was at the WH SCOTUS announcement on Saturday and was criticized for not wearing a mask and shaking hands, has tested positive for COVID-19.
This was just sent out to the campus.
Unclear if he had it during the WH event. pic.twitter.com/2cR4eaVMzb
— Jack Jenkins (@jackmjenkins) October 2, 2020
Barrett, who studied law at Notre Dame and later taught classes at the university, tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday, a White House official told the Washington Examiner. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday said that the Senate “can move forward” with Barrett’s confirmation.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said the confirmation process for Barrett is “on track,” and hearings are still scheduled to begin on Oct. 12. Democratic leaders in the Senate said it is “premature” for Graham to commit to a confirmation hearing schedule without knowing the full extent of exposure.
Trump revealed his positive diagnosis via Twitter Friday at about 1 a.m. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said that the president is experiencing “mild symptoms.” First lady Melania Trump, who also tested positive, said she too has mild symptoms.
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