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Jenkins comes under fire for appearing to violate University health and safety protocols

| Sunday, September 27, 2020

This report was updated Sept. 27 at 3:02 p.m.

A video circulating online shows University President Fr. John Jenkins failing to wear a mask or socially distance at the White House ceremony for law professor Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination Saturday.

Marcus Cole, dean of the Law School, was seated next to Jenkins and appeared to be wearing a mask.

Upon arrival at the White House, both Jenkins and Cole were directed to a room where individuals attending the ceremony were tested for COVID-19, vice president for public affairs and communications Paul Browne said. Every guest was tested by nasal swab prior to entering the ceremony.

“Only when the test results returned negative were they and others in their group escorted into the Rose Garden for the ceremony,” Browne said in a statement.

However, according to CNN, “two of Barrett’s colleagues at Notre Dame, who attended the Rose Garden event … said they were not tested for the virus by the White House.” The two guests also said they did not hear of any coronavirus testing precautions prior to the event, according to CNN reporting.

Earlier in the academic year, Jenkins issued an apology for failing to follow recommended health and safety practices while taking phots with students.

“While all of the scientific evidence indicates that the risk of transmission is far lower outdoors than indoors, I want to remind you (and myself!) that we should stay at least 6 feet apart,” Jenkins said in his prior apology.

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