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Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, tests positive for coronavirus, president says

President Trump's personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani spent the week traveling the country claiming the election was rigged. Now Trump says he has coronavirus. (Video: The Washington Post)
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Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney and point man in his bid to overturn the results of the November election, has contracted the coronavirus, the president said Sunday in a tweet.

“.@RudyGiuliani, by far the greatest mayor in the history of NYC, and who has been working tirelessly exposing the most corrupt election (by far!) in the history of the USA, has tested positive for the China Virus,” Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon. “Get better soon Rudy, we will carry on!!!”

Giuliani, 76, traveled to Michigan, Arizona and Georgia last week and met indoors with state legislators in an effort to persuade them to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Videos of the appearances showed that Giuliani was not wearing a mask during the meetings.

Hours before Trump’s tweet, Giuliani appeared on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” where he repeated the president’s false claims of election fraud.

Trump campaign witness Melissa Carone was deemed "not credible" by a judge before she spoke during the Dec. 2 Michigan state House hearing on the 2020 election. (Video: The Washington Post)

Giuliani was being treated at Georgetown University Medical Center, according to a person with knowledge of his condition who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter.

It was unclear why Trump disclosed Giuliani’s condition — or whether he had asked for permission to do so.

In a statement that it said it was releasing with Giuliani’s consent, the Trump campaign said Sunday night that Giuliani “tested negative twice immediately preceding his trip to Arizona, Michigan, and Georgia.”

“The Mayor did not experience any symptoms or test positive for covid-19 until more than 48 hours after his return,” it said.

People who are asymptomatic are still able to spread the virus.

The Trump campaign also said that no state legislators or members of the media are on its contact-tracing list, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for close contacts. The CDC defines “close contact” as “any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the patient is isolated.”

The Trump campaign added that “other team members who are defined as having had close contact will be following their physicians’ directives and CDC guidelines on self-isolation and testing.” It did not provide further details.

In Arizona, legislative staff abruptly announced new coronavirus precautions on Sunday.

The state Senate “will be closed in the coming week” because of coronavirus concerns, Senate GOP spokesman Mike Philipsen told The Washington Post on Sunday evening. He did not provide further information.

An email announcement to members of the House said that “out of an abundance of caution for recent cases and concerns relating to COVID-19, the House building will be closed for one week, starting Monday, December 7,” said Andrew Wilder, the House GOP spokesman.

On Dec. 1, the Arizona GOP posted a picture of maskless lawmakers gathered close to Giuliani for a picture.

In recent weeks, Giuliani has taken over the president’s legal efforts, with other campaign lawyers and aides sidelined and mocking his approach. He has had little luck in court, but Trump has appreciated his vociferous defenses on television. Some Trump aides say Giuliani is angling for a pardon, but he has denied it. He has not been paid but has sought $20,000 a day, said advisers who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.

As he has led the efforts to challenge Biden’s win, Giuliani has been flying around the country with Trump campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis, regularly not wearing a mask in public.

Ellis wished Giuliani well Sunday night and said the Trump legal team’s efforts will continue apace.

“Prayers for Mayor @RudyGiuliani,” she said in a tweet. “He is a tough warrior! The Trump Legal Team will continue our important work to fight for election integrity! We have a great team, along with able local counsel in each state. Our work won’t be affected and we press on.

When he has been around others who have tested positive, Giuliani has not quarantined, including after a news conference last month at the Republican National Committee’s headquarters when his son tested positive.

Giuliani has shared the president’s skepticism of the virus’s severity and has regularly met closely with others indoors. Early in the pandemic, he told a Washington Post reporter that he was around only six or eight people regularly.

Toluse Olorunnipa contributed to this report.