outbrain
Close  

Second White House staffer tests positive for coronavirus

/ 04:05 AM May 09, 2020

WASHINGTON, United States — A second White House worker — reportedly the vice president’s spokeswoman — has tested positive for coronavirus, officials said Friday, even as President Donald Trump continued to go mask-free at a World War II commemoration with veterans in their 90s.

A senior administration official said a member of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff had been tested and found to have coronavirus.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump, speaking later at an event with Republican lawmakers, identified the person as “Katie,” saying she works with Pence as a “press person.”

This appeared to confirm multiple media reports that the person is Katie Miller, Pence’s spokeswoman and the wife of Stephen Miller, one of Trump’s most influential advisors — someone with frequent access to the Oval Office.

FEATURED STORIES

As recently as Thursday, Katie Miller was seen mingling with officials at an outdoor prayer ceremony hosted by Trump and attended by dozens of people, including the wives of Trump and Pence and many senior staff.

Earlier Friday, the senior administration official said that because of the Pence staffer testing positive, six people who may have had contact and who were meant to be traveling with Pence had to leave his plane before takeoff at Joint Base Andrews, near Washington, for Des Moines, Iowa.

“Out of abundance of caution we went back and looked into all the person’s contacts most recently,” said the official, who asked not to be named.

“That’s why we asked some of our staff to deplane. Nobody else was exhibiting any symptoms or having any feeling of sickness. We asked them to go get tested and to go home out of an abundance of caution.”

On Thursday, a Trump spokesman said the president’s valet, a member of the military who is in close contact with the president, had tested positive.

Trump and Pence were tested and confirmed to be negative. Both are tested daily.

The latest scare came as Trump is pressing for a quicker reopening of the US economy, which has been hammered by the fallout from mass lockdowns and social distancing.

ADVERTISEMENT

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said there was no risk of a White House outbreak or threat to Trump.

“I can just tell you that we’ve taken every single precaution to protect the president,” she told a press briefing. “We clean the facility, we social distance, we keep people six feet away from each other.”

Veterans in their 90s

Trump has drawn criticism for refusing to follow his own health experts’ advice on wearing a mask in public. Although wearing a face covering is voluntary, it is recommended by many state authorities and federal doctors.

Few of Trump’s staff are ever seen wearing masks.

Trump’s latest public outing was to a ceremony early Friday marking the 75th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

The president, who at 73 is well within the higher-risk group for COVID-19, met eight American veterans ranging in age from 96 to 100. Neither he nor the veterans wore masks, although he kept a few steps from them.

According to McEnany, the veterans “made the choice to come here because they’ve chosen to put their nation first. They wanted to be with their commander in chief on this momentous day. It was their choice to come here.”

McEnany said mask-wearing is a purely personal issue.

“This president is regularly tested. This president will make the decision as to wear a mask or not,” she said.

Earlier this week, Trump made his first long-distance trip since the nation’s coronavirus lockdown began, visiting a Honeywell mask-making factory in Arizona.

Again, he did not wear a mask in public, even while addressing a room full of factory employees, all wearing masks in accordance with company policy.

JPV

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Coronavirus, COVID-19, health crisis, pandemic, Quarantine, Trump, Washington, White House
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.