AIPAC warns Congress that two conference attendees have coronavirus
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DC Health Department says 'no identified risk at this time'

AIPAC warns Congress that two conference attendees have coronavirus

Pro-Israel lobby group sends notice to congressional offices and all 18,000 who were at annual confab, including Pompeo, Pence, Bloomberg, other lawmakers

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2020 policy conference in Washington, DC, March 2, 2020. (AP/Jose Luis Magana)
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2020 policy conference in Washington, DC, March 2, 2020. (AP/Jose Luis Magana)

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) warned Congress, the Trump administration, activists and others that at least two people who attended the lobby’s policy conference have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The DC Health Department stated later Friday that there was “no identified risk to conference attendees at this time.”

The annual conference, which ran from February 28 to March 2, drew 18,000 to Washington, DC.

On Twitter, AIPAC said it sent an email to all attendees, speakers, participants, and to congressional and administration offices.

“If you test positive for coronavirus, we urge you to inform your local health authorities so they can properly coordinate their response to this situation with the appropriate health authorities,” AIPAC said.

It urged attendees to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and to consult with their doctors if they feel ill or have medical questions.

Asked about the disclosure at a White House briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health said health officials will be interviewing the infected individuals to see whom they may have had contact with, and try to determine who may have been exposed.

The conference routinely attracts Congress members and their staffers, as well as top administration officials, including this year Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Additionally, on the last day of the conference, AIPAC activists visit virtually every congressional office to lobby.

The AIPAC statement posted late Friday on Twitter said the two people who tested positive are from New York. The outbreak there is centered in the Jewish community in Westchester County north of New York City.

AIPAC said it is in contact with Westchester County’s Health Department, the New York Health Department, national health authorities and the District of Columbia Health Department.

The statement also said the lobby was consulting with Edward Septimus, a professor of internal medicine at Texas A&M University.

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