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Vice-President Mike Pence’s spokesperson, Katie Miller, has tested positive for the coronavirus, making it very likely that an unknown number of top officials and aides in the Trump administration have now been exposed to the virus. In addition to being Pence’s top spokesperson, Miller is married to Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to Trump who is the president’s primary speechwriter and the architect of the administration’s anti-immigration policy.
The news of Katie Miller’s infection came less than a day after it was announced that one of Trump’s personal valets had also tested positive for COVID-19. It’s not clear if the two infections are related in any way.
Politico reports that Pence’s flight to Iowa on Friday morning was briefly delayed while six staff members who had been in contact with Miller were removed from Air Force Two. Pence is reportedly tested daily for the coronavirus and tested negative on Friday. Katie Miller apparently tested negative on Thursday, then received positive test results on Friday morning. It is not yet clear if Stephen Miller also has COVID-19.
President Trump was the first to confirm that Katie Miller was the person who had tested positive:
Trump said that he had not been in contact with her, though Pence had, and said the positive test showed “why the whole concept of tests aren’t necessarily great.”
“The tests are perfect, but something can happen between a test where it’s good and then something happens and all of the sudden,” he added.
Originally, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced earlier Friday that a member of Pence’s staff had tested positive, but did not identify the staff member. McEnany also insisted that the White House has been following recommended guidelines for preventing the spread of the coronavirus:
We have put in place the guidelines that our experts have put forward to keep this building safe, which means contact tracing. All of the recommended guidelines we have for businesses that have essential workers, we are now putting them in place here in the White House. So as America reopens safely, the White House is continuing to operate safely.