Journalist Hunter Walker of Yahoo! News shouted at President Donald Trump as he left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland on Monday evening: “Do you think you might be a superspreader, Mr. President?”
President Trump leaves Walter Reed.
As he walks to the motorcade, somebody asks him “Do you think you might be a superspreader?” pic.twitter.com/rIR0NVb1wz
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 5, 2020
Walker shouted his questions, then took to Twitter to boast about it.
I asked President Trump how many of his staffers are sick and whether he is a supespreader. He ignored me and simply said, “Thank you very much everybody.”
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) October 5, 2020
“Superspreaders” are individuals who, theoretically, are “efficient” at spreading the coronavirus. It is not clear whether they exist, or how (and why) they are able (unwittingly) to spread the virus, but they are a subject of interest and scientific debate.
The Los Angeles Times recently reported on a study in India that seemed to suggest the existence of “supersspreaders” (original emphasis):
After examining data from 575,071 individuals in India who were tested after coming into contact with one of 84,965 infected people, researchers found that just 8% of the COVID-19 patients accounted for 60% of the new infections. Meanwhile, 70% of the original patients were not linked to any new cases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published research on “superspreading events.”
It is not entirely clear how President Trump contracted the virus, nor is it known whether he gave it to anyone else, though several people in the White House have been infected recently, including members of the press. Nor is it clear how, if he were a “superspreader,” the president would know.
Walker is known for being a gadfly within the White House press corps.
In April, Walker apologized for falsely reporting that South Korea had conducted more coronavirus tests per capita than the U.S. He had defended his false reporting in a testy exchange with the president before apologizing.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.