As President Trump signed the largest economic stimulus ever bill into law, social distancing was visibly absent.
Fifteen people, including several Republican members of Congress, Trump’s Cabinet, and members of the coronavirus task force, were tightly packed behind the resolute desk in the Oval Office as Trump signed the CARES Act.
The close contact goes against guidelines from both the President and the entire medical community that says gatherings of more than 10 people should be avoided to help stop the spread of novel coronavirus.
In addition to the large grouping, their ages could put them at greater risk.
According to a tabulation by CNN, the average age of the 16 people in the Oval Office was 65.8. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that anyone over 65 is at high-risk for suffering severe symptoms from exposure to the Covid-19 virus.
Proper social distancing has been one of the most talked about ways people can work to slow the spread of coronavirus and the practice has been implemented to some extent at the White House.
The number of reporters and correspondents allowed to cover White House briefings has been restricted to allow members of the press to sit far apart, and the number of people gathered on the podium behind the President during those briefings has dwindled in the last few days.
Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, the two most visible medical professionals preaching social distancing, were both at the signing ceremony.
At the Capitol earlier Friday, lawmakers made a point to stand with some distance between them during their signing ceremony.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not hand out ceremonial pens, a common occurrence after passing important legislation, because of fears of spreading germs.
However, back at the White House, Trump individually handed pens to many of the attendees after he signed the bill.