The fallout from the coronavirus reaching the White House and the Senate will collide Tuesday: Alexander will chair a hearing on the virus remotely, and all four of the Trump administration health officials invited will participate remotely or with extra precautions because they came into contact with someone with the virus while at work. That includes Fauci, whose spokesperson said working at home sometimes will be part of his response to making sure he’s not infected. The topic of the hearing: going back to work and school.

Hi and welcome to our hearing about how it is safe to go back to work and school! You may notice we are not physically back at work and school because our workplace is dealing with a coronavirus outbreak and we are all having to quarantine at home. This is just poor timing on our parts and should not be taken as a sign of anything larger going wrong! Read my lips (through my mask): No new cases!

I understand that hearing someone who literally works at the WHITE??? HOUSE?? say, “It is scary to go to work,” does not fill you with absolute confidence.

Look, the only reason we are not at work is because our workplace has rapid testing available that let us know that someone we were interacting with on a regular basis had the coronavirus. If your workplace doesn’t have that, you have nothing to worry about! It will be a weight off your mind. Go back to work, and don’t worry about it! That is what we have to say. Worry about being put on a list by your governor saying you valued your own life more highly than your contributions to toaster manufacturing and distribution. That’s what you ought to worry about!

You will find out that you could have potentially contracted the coronavirus from someone at work in the time-honored way: when you hear the secretary of Health and Human Services say that the meatpacking plant that employs you probably bears no responsibility and that it is the fault of the community in which you reside. Then you will know!

Just because I happen to be sitting at home in a mask does not mean you should be sitting at home in a mask. I am myself, you see, whereas you are you. Please, we are outliers. This is not representative of how well or badly things are going across the country. We work for the White House, where you can never really expect things to be going that well or operating at a very high level. And our conditions are just borne of an abundance of caution, anyway. Because, as the president noted, sometimes you get a test that says it is negative, but later you get one that says it is positive. This suggests that something is the matter with the test.

Anyway, don’t let the fact that we are all working from home because of potential exposure make you think we are not seconds from reopening the country in total safety. We have everything under control.

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