Coronavirus Fears Grow as Two AIPAC Conference Attendees Test Positive

WASHINGTON – Attendees of the AIPAC policy conference last week are concerned after the lobby announced Friday that at least two of the participants have tested positive for the coronavirus, warning Congress, the Trump administration and activists among others.

It is not clear at the moment what exactly, if anything, attendees of AIPAC's annual conference, which drew as many as 18,000 participants to Washington last week from both the U.S. and Israel, should do in light of the announcement.

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On Thursday, two days after the conference ended, AIPAC updated the event's participants via email that a delegation from a New York synagogue which attended the event could have potentially brought coronavirus into the gathering. 

Members of this synagogue delegation met in the days leading up to the conference with a congregants who was later tested positive for the virus. The diagnosis however, came to their knowledge only after they interacted with him, while they were already in Washington, where they spent hours walking the hallways of the convention center where the AIPAC conference took place. 

– tweet

Important Update: Coronavirus

As emailed to Policy Conference attendees, participants, speakers, administration and Hill offices.

— AIPAC (@AIPAC) March 6, 2020

That announcement was enough to cause concern among the thousands who participated in the lobby's conference, in light of the rapid spread of the virus. But on Friday night, the concern grew even stronger after AIPAC updated its supporters that at least two participants were in fact found to carry the virus. 

Several Israelis who attended the conference and have since returned to Israel offered differing updates on how they were treated by local authorities upon returning before AIPAC's Friday announcement. 

"I have not been instructed to go into quarantine since returning," said one Israeli who spoke at the conference. "I also called the government hotline and was told that there are no special instructions regarding the conference. I cancelled some plans I had for this week but am not in full quarantine."