Some 40 to 50 guests donated $50,000 to snap photos with the president on Thursday and roughly 20 sat with him at an hour-long roundtable discussion. Several said the president’s diagnosis and hospitalization have been both bewildering and frightening. Four people at the club that day told ABC News they are quarantining or getting tests.
“I stayed 6 feet away from the president at all times as well, but out of an abundance of caution have quarantined myself until I can be tested,” said Daniel Hux, who attended the fundraiser, said in a statement to ABC News.
Campaign officials and a number of those who attended continue to maintain that Trump kept a safe buffer between himself and the guests, who spent as much as $250,000 to attend the exclusive fundraiser with the president. Several of those interviewed by ABC News said they never saw anyone within 6 feet of the president — even those who waited on line to enter the Bedminster club house to pose for photos with him.
“When that photo was taken, all the event staff were wearing masks, all the campaign staff were wearing masks, Secret Service was wearing masks,” said Charlie Kolean, who plans to get tested on Sunday.
“And I’ve been [self-quarantining] in a responsible manner,” he added.
Others who did not get as close to the president said they weren’t concerned. Katherine Hermes told ABC News she was never within 50 feet of the president.
“Why would I get tested?” Hermes, who paid $2,600 for a ticket, previously told ABC News. “I was nowhere near the president,” she said, adding she was not experiencing symptoms.
The timeline of the president’s illness remains murky and it is still unclear how much Trump and his team knew about his illness on Thursday afternoon when he boarded Marine One for the trip to Bedminster.
The president’s initial symptoms surfaced sometime on Wednesday evening while Hicks was already quarantining. He appeared fatigued, according to sources familiar with his condition, which they initially attributed to his break-neck schedule. Marine One lifted off from Bedminster at 4:23 p.m. on Thursday. Trump’s first positive test came later that evening after he was back at the White House.
Those who attended the gathering at Bedminster and spoke with reporters said they saw no indication that the president was sick. Several, like Hermes, said they remained unfazed by the possibility that Trump could have exposed people at the event.
“I don’t know about all that,” she said when asked about the timeline of the diagnosis. “He looked awesome, he was smiling, he was happy.”
Health officials in New Jersey are not taking any chances. On Friday, Bedminster Mayor Larry Jacobs said in a statement the county health department had started contact tracing to determine if anyone was exposed during the event and “anticipates full cooperation from the Trump Organization and from all those who attended the event.”
Somerset County officials also said on Friday they were working on contact tracing the event, and had reached out to the Trump National Golf Course to request lists of staff and guests who were in attendance. ABC News reached out to Somerset County to see if the Trump Organization is cooperating, but have not heard back.