Military official who serves as Trump valet tests positive for coronavirus

A member of the U.S. military who serves as a valet for President TrumpDonald John TrumpPolice say man dangling off Trump Tower Chicago demanding to speak with Trump Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Biden: Trump 'continues to lie to us' about coronavirus MORE has tested positive for the coronavirus, underscoring the threat of the virus to top officials in Washington, D.C., even as the president insists the country must start to reopen.

"We were recently notified by the White House Medical Unit that a member of the United States Military, who works on the White House campus, has tested positive for Coronavirus," deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement. "The President and the Vice President have since tested negative for the virus and they remain in great health."

CNN first reported that the individual who tested positive is a member of the U.S. Navy who serves as one of the president's personal valets. The network reported that the individual started exhibiting symptoms on Wednesday morning.


Trump, asked about the valet's case later Thursday, said he would start getting tested for the virus on a daily basis.

"I’ve had very little contact, personal contact, with this gentleman," Trump said, calling the driver a
"good person."

"It’s a little bit strange, but it’s one of those things," he added.

The valet is the second known individual who works at the White House to test positive for the virus, which health officials have warned is highly transmissible. A staffer in Vice President Pence's office tested positive for the virus in March.

Trump and Pence have been tested regularly for the virus. The White House has also administered rapid tests to individuals traveling with Trump or Pence or who meet with them in person, and reporters who enter White House grounds are given temperature checks.


The Senate returned to the Capitol this week to resume in-person work, even though the physician in Congress warned he only had the capacity to test lawmakers who showed symptoms. The Trump administration offered to provide rapid testing, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Schumer labels McConnell's scheduled coronavirus stimulus vote as 'a stunt' Pelosi gives White House 48-hour deadline for coronavirus stimulus deal MORE (R-Ky.) and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Schumer labels McConnell's scheduled coronavirus stimulus vote as 'a stunt' Pelosi: White House made 'unacceptable changes' to testing language during negotiations on coronavirus stimulus MORE (D-Calif.) rejected the outreach, saying the resources should be devoted to front-line workers.

The president has left the White House twice in the past week, though it's unclear whether he was in close proximity to the driver who tested positive. Trump spent last weekend at Camp David, and he traveled to Arizona on Tuesday to visit a Honeywell facility that is manufacturing N95 respirator masks used by health care workers treating coronavirus patients.

The president has in recent days been adamant about the need to start lifting restrictions meant to curb the spread of the virus and allow businesses to reopen. More than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past month as the virus grips the economy.

"I'm not saying anything is perfect," Trump said in Arizona. "And yes, will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open, and we have to get it open soon."

More than 1.2 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University data, and more than 73,000 people in the country have died from the virus.

This report was updated at 3:30 p.m.