By BEN GITTLESON, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — The director of the White House security office, Crede Bailey, was in an intensive care unit for three months and had part of his leg amputated after contracting COVID-19 several months ago, according to a fundraising campaign set up to help him.
Bailey, who recently moved to a full-time rehabilitation facility, now faces significant medical bills, according to the online fundraiser. He was hospitalized in September after falling ill with the coronavirus, people familiar with his condition told ABC News.
His illness came as dozens of White House staffers and allies of President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 in a series of outbreaks tied to the White House. Among them were the president, first lady and their teenage son.
While a number of coronavirus cases were linked to a Sept. 26 White House celebration for then-Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Bailey had been hospitalized before the event, according to the people familiar with his situation.
According to the fundraising page, Bailey suffered permanent injuries from his bout with COVID-19, including the amputations of his right foot, lower right leg, and big toe on his left foot.
In appealing for donations, the person listed as the campaign’s organizer, Dawn McCrobie, wrote that Bailey would need to pay for a prosthetic leg, a wheelchair and modifications to his home, among other medical expenses. McCrobie said that “even with insurance,” the expenses were “astronomical.”
McCrobie did not respond to requests for comment. Bailey and his relatives also did not respond to requests for comment.
The White House last week declined to comment to ABC News on his condition, but asked about him at a news conference on Tuesday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany for the first time publicly acknowledged his battle with the virus.
“Our heart goes out to his family,” McEnany said. “They have asked for privacy. And he is recovering, from what I understand. We are very pleased to see that. But he and his family will be in our prayers.”
Trump has not publicly commented about Bailey’s situation. McEnany said she was “not sure if the president’s had a private conversation with him, nor would I confirm any private conversation that he did have.”
Bailey’s experience with COVID-19 is the most serious publicly reported case linked to the White House.
Trump and several close allies were also hospitalized and received exceptional access to treatment or therapeutics. Among them were the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani; former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is also an ABC News contributor; and Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development.
Trump has for months minimized the severity of the virus and its impact on those it sickens.
“Remember, when you catch it, you get better, and you’re immune,” he said in an interview with Fox Business following his own recovery, which was aided by a world-class medical team and an experimental treatment that had, at the time, only been offered to a handful of people outside of clinical trials. In reality, COVID-19 has killed over 300,000 Americans.
Last week, a White House spokesman did not respond when asked whether Trump had donated, or considered donating, to Bailey. The official on Wednesday declined to comment.
The online fundraiser had raised over $30,000 by last week and more than doubled that total this week after a Monday article by Bloomberg News — and the mention at McEnany’s briefing — brought more attention to Bailey’s situation.
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