A prominent Southern California pastor has announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a September Rose Garden event that may have led to multiple infections within the president’s inner circle.
Pastor Greg Laurie said it “started with some fatigue that I was feeling aches and pains and fever” in a video when he announced his diagnosis Friday. He also said he was feeling fine in isolation.
"I just wish that at a time like this we can not politicize something like this. And show compassion to people that are struggling with this, because it's real,” he said.
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The 67-year-old pastor is the head of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Corona and Irvine.
On Sept. 26, he attended a prayer march in Washington DC with vice president Pence.
Laurie was seen walking in large crowds without a mask.
He also attended the Rose Garden ceremony announcing President Trump's Supreme Court nominee.
You can see the pastor in footage with many others who didn't wear face coverings, and didn't practice social distancing.
"When you see a picture like that with a large number of people sitting very close together for a long period of time you get worried about the potential for a super spreader event,” Riverside University Health System's Dr. Geoffrey Leung said.
Multiple people within the president's inner circle who attended the Rose Garden indoor-outdoor event have also tested positive, including the president.
Leung said this is why contact tracing is critical.
“If you know everybody who got an infection and can isolate and then have everybody within their circles quarantine for 14 days, you really should theoretically be able to stop the spread of transmission,” he said.