Pence says he will be tested for coronavirus
Vice President Pence said Saturday that he and second lady Karen Pence will be tested for the coronavirus after a member of the vice president’s staff tested positive for COVID-19.
“While the White House doctor has indicated that he has no reason to believe that I was exposed and no need to be tested, given the unique position that I have as vice president and as the leader of the White House coronavirus task force, both I and my wife will be tested for the coronavirus later this afternoon,” he told reporters at the White House Saturday afternoon.
The White House announced Friday evening that a staffer working in Mike Pence’s office had tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first known case of COVID-19 at the White House. The person did not have direct contact with either President Trump or Mike Pence, the vice president said.
“I am pleased to report that he is doing well,” the vice president said of the staffer on Saturday. He added that said the individual exhibited “mild cold-like symptoms” and hadn’t worked at the White House since Monday.
Mike Pence is leading the White House coronavirus task force and has been a consistent public face of the federal government’s effort to address the pandemic since late last month.
The news comes a week after Trump said he had been tested for the coronavirus, despite the White House physician saying there was no need for the president to take the test after he came in contact with two officials at his Mar-a-Lago beach club the prior weekend who later tested positive.
Trump said he took the test because of persistent questions from the media about why he hadn’t been tested for the coronavirus. The White House announced later that evening that Trump had tested negative for the virus.
The president’s daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump has also tested negative for the virus after coming in contact with an Australian official earlier this month who later tested positive.
Nearly 20,000 people in the United States have been confirmed to have the virus. The Trump administration on Monday recommended that Americans avoid restaurants, bars and other public places, avoid nonessential travel, and restrict gatherings to fewer than 10 people over a 15-day period to help reduce the spread of the virus domestically.