The coronavirus may not have made it to the White House, that we know of, but it has arrived next door. A staff member at the office of Vice-President Mike Pence has tested positive for COVID-19, though the staffer did not have “close contact” with either Pence or President Trump, according to a statement from Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller. “Further contact tracing is being conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines,” she added. She said they received news of the positive test on Friday night.
It is the first confirmed case of the coronavirus among top administration staff. Pence’s office is not in the White House, however, but in the adjacent Eisenhower Executive Office Building. It’s not yet clear if the staffer spent any time in the White House or had any contact with senior administration officials. It is also not clear how the staffer contracted the virus.
Both Trump and Pence have had contact with at least one person who has subsequently tested positive for the coronavirus. Vice-President Pence has said he has not been tested for the coronavirus, per the guidance of his personal doctor. The White House said last Saturday that Trump had tested negative.
On Wednesday, two members of the House, Florida Republican Mario Diaz-Balart and Utah Democrat Ben McAdams, announced that they had tested positive for COVID-19 — the first members of Congress known to have contracted the virus. Previously, several members of Congress were exposed to the virus via an attendee at the last month’s CPAC conference. They self-quarantined.
This is a developing story and this post will be updated.
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