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Because of COVID-19 outbreaks that occurred at White House events under President Donald Trump, the federal government is spending more than $200,000 to deep clean the presidential home before President-elect Joe Biden moves in on Jan. 20, ABC News reported.
The White House staff usually deep cleans the 132-room mansion during a 5-to-6-hour period when the outgoing and incoming presidents are occupied with ceremonial activities the day of the inauguration, ABC News said.
But the General Services Administration decided a more thorough cleaning was required because at least three COVID outbreaks were traced to White House events. They include Sept. 26 gathering for Trump to introduce Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Trump, the first lady and dozens of staff members tested positive in 2020.
The government signed a $127,249 contract for “2021 Inaugural Cleaning,” a $44,038 contract for “Inaugural carpet cleaning” and a $29,523 contract for “Inaugural curtains cleaning.” The contracts went to Didlake, a Virginia company that provides employment to people with disabilities.
“We’ve never seen this before,” Kate Brower Andersen, a presidential historian, told ABC News. “The Government Services Administration has said they’re going to do this very deep cleaning ― cleaning every surface of the 55,000 square foot mansion. There’s always been a deep clean between administrations, but we’ve never seen anything like this.”
“The GSA will thoroughly clean and disinfect the building spaces between the administrations and ensure that everything is up to standard,” a GSA spokesman told ABC News. “Cleaning will include, but is not limited to, all furniture, flooring, window treatments, handrails, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, elevator buttons, restroom fixtures and dispensers, door handles and push plates, and lighting fixtures.”
Under a $115,000 contract, new carpeting will be installed in offices in the West Wing, East Wing and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
ABC News. Ahead of inauguration, government contracts reveal White House deep clean
Didlake company website