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What the White House cluster reveals about virus’ spread

It wasn’t long after President Donald Trump and other Republicans were diagnosed with the coronavirus that people detected a common thread: All of them had been at the White House on Sept. 26.



Chris Christie et al. standing in front of a crowd


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Numerous people who attended the event to announce the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court are known to have caught the virus. Others close to people who tested positive at the event have since also caught the virus, some of whom initially tested negative for several days after the gathering.

The emerging White House cluster is the kind of incident that infectious disease experts are focusing on as a crucial way to understand how the coronavirus spreads. They’re known as “superspreader” events.

“What gives rise to transmission is based on multiple factors, and you get the best and biggest superspreading events when all the stars align in the

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