Corey Lewandowski, a top Trump campaign advisor, was spotted at a kids’ football game over the weekend without wearing a mask even though he had said he would isolate himself because he had been exposed to people with the coronavirus.
Jim Donohoe, who attended the flag football game on Saturday at a field at St. Patrick’s Church in Pelham, New Hampshire, told CNBC he took several photos of the man he recognized as Lewandowski, including the picture above.
Another person confirmed to CNBC that one of Lewandowski’s sons had a game scheduled at the field at the same time Donohoe said he was there to see two grandsons play. This person spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
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The league that sponsors the flag football games at that field requires spectators and coaches to wear masks.
The game took place a day after Lewandowski said on TV that he was “self-isolating” due to having been exposed to Covid-19.
“I think people should wear masks,” Lewandowski said during a CBSN interview on Friday, hours after President Donald Trump revealed that he and first lady Melania Trump had COVID-19.
On Monday, during an interview with NBC’s “Today” show, Lewandowski spoke remotely while wearing a mask as he described speaking to Trump on Saturday, after the president entered a military hospital.
“COVID is a very, very dangerous disease. He knows that. He’s witnessed it first-hand,” Lewandowski said of Trump.
Lewandowski, a New Hampshire resident who once headed Trump’s first presidential campaign, did not reply to multiple requests for comment from CNBC when asked about the photos and his reported presence at the game without wearing a mask.
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh also did not reply to requests for comment.
Murtaugh, who had told NBC News that he himself has tested negative for Covid-19, did not immediately answer an email on Tuesday when asked the outcome of Lewandowski’s test, which Lewandowski said he planned to take a day before the football game.
Lewandowski, 47, at least twice in the week before the game attended Trump-related events where he was exposed to multiple people, including Trump himself, who since Friday have been known to have the coronavirus.
The nearly 20 people infected in Trump’s circle include his campaign manager, Bill Stepien.
Federal guidelines call for people who have been in close contact with others infected with the coronavirus to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their last point of contact and to wear masks around others.
In his CBSN interview Friday, Lewandowski had noted his presence at the Trump-related events, and said he would be taking a coronavirus test later that day.
“I just got back home to my residence in New Hampshire,” Lewandowski said.
“I am self-isolating right now, I have no symptoms whatsoever, but out of an abundance of cautionness I will be conducting, I will be having a Covid test this afternoon,” he told CBSN.
“It’s already been scheduled, so I’m doing the right thing. I’m home here, I’m self-isolating. I’m going to go to the hospital to be tested and then await those results.”
Lewandowski does not appear to have publicly disclosed his test results.
Even if he had tested negative on Friday, there is no guarantee that Lewandowski would not test positive for the coronavirus later.
On Monday, Trump’s press secretary Kayleigh McEnany revealed that she tested positive for the coronavirus.
McEnany noted in a tweet that, “After testing negative consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms.”
Donohoe told CNBC about 100 to 125 people were at the football field Saturday.
He also said the man he identified as Lewandowski was often on his cellphone or texting as he walked back and forth.
″“He wasn’t with anybody else,” said Donohoe, adding that he never saw the man wear or even carry a mask.
“On some of the back and forth he was very socially distanced from people, but at other points he would have been coming closer,” said Donohoe, a retired educator from Vero Beach, Florida, who previously lived in Lowell, Massachusetts, which is near Pelham.
“I would say that he was within 6 feet” of other people at some points, said Donohoe.
Donohoe said he and other older people at the field were wearing masks, while some younger people, such as parents of the kids playing, did not.
“When I first saw him, he was close to me walking,” Donohoe said.
Donohoe said that at one point he “was that close that I could pick up pieces of conversation” that the man was having on the cellphone.
“I heard him say, ‘I spoke to him before he went,’” Donohoe recalled. “I jumped to the conclusion that he spoke ... to the president before he went into the hospital.”
Donohoe’s daughter, Kerry Donohoe, told CNBC that her mother was also at the flag football game, and that she was not happy to see the pictures.
“It’s really struck a nerve with me,” said Kerry, who did not attend her nephews’ game.
“I couldn’t believe he didn’t” wear a mask, she said.
“Quite honestly, it seems pretty reckless,” Kerry said. “There’s a personal responsibility when you’ve had a known contact.”
The website of the New Hampshire Flag Football League, whose teams play at St. Patrick’s field on Saturdays, says, “Masks are required for all spectators and coaches,” and that “Social Distancing is required by spectators.”
Daniel Provencal, the owner of the league, told CNBC he did not know who Lewandowski was and was not aware of an issue involving Lewandowski at Saturday’s game.
“That doesn’t make me happy,” Provencal said when informed that someone who appeared to be Lewandowski was not wearing a mask.
Provencal admitted that getting spectators to wear masks “can be a struggle” even with the mask rule being posted on the league’s website, and even with repeated emails to parents reminding them of the rule.
“I literally have a supervisor at every field walking around literally asking people to” wear masks, he said.
“We might have to make some adjustments,” Provencal added.
In his interview with CBSN on Friday, Lewandowski said: “I think it’s really important that people have a sense of personal responsibility and I think people should wear masks.”
“I also think it’s up to individuals — you know, I’m a small government kind of guy, I don’t want the government mandating what I have to do,” he said.
But Lewandowski also said, “I encourage people to wear masks, I encourage people to maintain social distancing.”
On its website, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “recommends that all people, whether or not they have had COVID-19, take steps to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19. Wash hands regularly, stay at least 6 feet away from others whenever possible, and wear masks.”
The CDC also says that people who have been in close contact to other people who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus should quarantine themselves and “stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.”
And the CDC recommends that while in quarantine, people should, “If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.”
People who are at higher risk for Covid include older adults and people with preexisting medical conditions.
Lewandowski, who lives near Pelham and has four children, had been the head of Trump’s first presidential campaign until mid-2016, when he was ousted and replaced by long-time Republican operative Paul Manafort.
On Sept. 26, one week before the flag football game in Pelham, Lewandowski attended an event at the White House with scores of other people to watch Trump formally announce Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.
Other high-profile attendees at that event, where most people did not wear masks, included former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former White House advisor Kellyanne Conway, Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and University of Notre Dame President John Jenkins — all of whom later tested positive for the coronavirus.
Lewandowski also has said he was with Trump last Wednesday during a campaign rally in Duluth, Minnesota.
Trump is known to have traveled on Air Force One to Duluth with people including McEnany, his advisor Hope Hicks and Nick Luna, the president’s assistant. In addition to Trump and McEnany, Hicks and Luna have been diagnosed with Covid-19.
“There was no indication at all” that Trump was ill during that trip, Lewandowski said in an interview with WMUR of Manchester, New Hampshire.
In the CBSN interview, Lewandowski said he had been on a commercial flight on Thursday night, and that he wore “this great mask” on the plane. The mask featured the seal of the president of the United States, and the words “Made in America,” Lewandowski said.
“In a very short amount of time the American people have embraced the wearing of masks and are showing themselves through that mask wearing,” Lewandowski said.
He also said, referring to Trump’s positive test for Covid, “This just goes to show that there is nobody in America that is immune from potentially catching this virus.”
— Additional reporting by CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger
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