The revelation that someone who attended the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this month had coronavirus sent other attendees into a frenzy to figure out who the person was, and whether or not they had been exposed.
Several Republican members of Congress self-quarantined due to possible exposure. But one attendee, who says he is now sick with flu-like symptoms, is upset that conference organizers didn't quickly inform everyone about their potential exposure to the virus.
What's going on? CPAC began on Feb. 26, and ended Feb. 29. It wasn't until Saturday, March 7 that the American Conservative Union, which puts on the conference, issued a statement that an attendee had tested positive for coronavirus.
What's the problem? Some attendees are upset that VIP attendees of the event have been given more information about the coronavirus situation than regular attendees, leaving them wondering who the infected person was and whether they have reason to be concerned about exposure.
Among those concerned attendees is Raheem Kassam, editor-in-chief of The National Pulse. Kassam said Sunday that he's been sick with flu-like symptoms for the week since CPAC, so the news that there was a coronavirus case at the conference alarmed him.
He tweeted Sunday that he knows who the infected attendee was, and named people who he believed had directly interacted with that person throughout the conference—information that CPAC had not released.
Matt Schlapp, chair of the ACU, did not appreciate Kassam's reporting, however, and implied that Kassam was only causing a stir due to a personal grievance.
"What this gentleman decided to do was take to Twitter and induce a near panic," Schlapp said on a Yahoo News podcast. "I'm sorry that Raheem was not included on our speakers' schedule, and I'm sorry he has a bone to pick with us, but using a health care moment where people are worried, to use that to try to stick a stake in my heart was a mistake."
The ACU has since released more information about the infected person, what specific events he attended, and what his current condition is as he recovers from coronavirus.