Two people who attended the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington earlier this week have tested positive for the coronavirus, but D.C. officials said there was “no risk” of catching the virus to other attendees.
The pro-Israel lobbying group shared a statement on Twitter Friday announcing it had alerted all AIPAC conference attendees and speakers that that two people from New York who attended the conference tested positive for the virus upon returning home.
“We have confirmed that at least two Policy Conference attendees from New York have tested positive for the coronavirus,” AIPAC tweeted.
Important Update: Coronavirus
— AIPAC (@AIPAC) March 6, 2020
The group added it has been in contact with public health authorities in the nation’s capital and in Westchester Country, New York, as well as national health authorities.
“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.
An estimated 18,000 people attended AIPAC’s annual conference, including a number of congressional lawmakers and officials from the Trump administration.
Vice President Mike Pence, who is heading the federal government’s coronavirus task force, spoke at the conference, as did Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“We stand with Israel today for the same reasons the American people have always stood with Israel. We stand with Israel because her cause is our cause, her values are our values, and her fight is our fight,” Pence told AIPAC attendees.
“We stand with Israel because we believe in right over wrong, in good over evil, in liberty over tyranny. We stand with Israel today, tomorrow, and we always will,” he added.
The Washington, D.C., Health Department issued a statement about the positive tests, saying there is “no risk” to persons who attended the AIPAC conference because the two individuals who tested positive for coronavirus were “asymptomatic” at the time.
“Based on our investigation thus far, in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDH), there is no identified risk to conference attendees at this time,” D.C. health officials said.
“All attendees and members of the public are urged to follow the well-established prevention tips like staying home if sick and calling ahead to a health provider if experiencing symptoms. We will work with AIPAC leadership to keep all attendees informed of any new developments,” officials in Washington added.
The DC Health Department has issued the following statement: pic.twitter.com/lnTYEVhghW
— AIPAC (@AIPAC) March 7, 2020
As of Friday, 105,529 cases of coronavirus have been reported worldwide, and 3,562 people have died. Almost all of those were elderly, and many had pre-existing health conditions like heart issues or diabetes.
Seventeen Americans are among those dead after contracting the virus, according to The Washington Post.
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