The Manhattan criminal trial against several of Donald Trump’s companies was interrupted Tuesday after the prosecution’s first witness — Trump organization controller Jeffrey McConney — tested positive for Covid-19. McConney, who took the stand Monday afternoon sans mask, was repeatedly gripped by coughing fits during his testimony; his positive test will put the trial on hold until next week.
The denouement of McConney’s apparent Covid diagnosis and subsequent trial trial turmoil unfolded on Twitter shortly after 2 p.m. Reporter Marta Dhanis tweeted: “TRUMP ORG TRIAL: Witness Jeffrey McConey has tested positive for COVID. He’s one of the main witness for prosecutors (subpoenaed) and he has been coughing a lot for the last 2 days.” Parties in the case told the court that McConney was “not feeling well” and that prosecutors had “arranged for a covid test to be taken to him,” reported Frank Runyeon tweeted.
A few minutes later, defense attorneys confirmed that McConney had tested positive for Covid-19, Runyeon wrote. “I have to get tested,” Judge Marchan reportedly remarked. A source familiar with the matter confirmed to Rolling Stone that court proceedings revealed McConney’s positive Covid-19 test. The trial is now adjourned until Monday, a New York state courts spokesman confirmed to Rolling Stone.
McConney’s Covid diagnosis comes as the US continues to battle the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 1 million in this country, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis published a 46-page report in December 2021 stating that the White House engaged in “deliberate efforts” to undermine the US’s pandemic response, for political purposes.
The Trump administration disregarded the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendation that churchgoers wear masks, for example, as the administration feared blowback from Trump’s religious backers. Notably, McConney isn’t the only Trumper who contracted Covid during a high-profile trial. Sarah Palin’s defamation trial against the New York Times was delayed after she tested positive for Covid.