Pence press secretary Katie Miller tests positive for coronavirus
Vice President Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday, President Trump appeared to confirm.
Trump told reporters that a woman named Katie had tested positive for the virus, noting she was a member of the press team. NBC News later reported that Miller confirmed she had tested positive.
The Hill has reached out to Miller for comment.
Miller is one of Pence’s closest aides and is married to Stephen Miller, one of Trump’s senior advisers.
“She is a wonderful young woman, Katie, she tested very good for a long period of time and then all of a sudden today she tested positive,” Trump told reporters during a roundtable with GOP lawmakers, noting that she is “the press person.”
Trump added that Pence has since tested negative for the coronavirus.
Administration officials said earlier Friday that a staffer in Pence’s office had tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Friday but did not disclose the person’s name. The person had tested negative a day prior.
It is the second confirmed case of COVID-19 among a member of the vice president’s staff since March. The news also comes a day after the White House disclosed that a U.S. military official working as Trump’s valet had also tested positive for the coronavirus.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed the case at a press briefing and said that the White House had put in place guidelines used to protect essential workers to keep those in the complex safe.
“We have put in place the guidelines that our experts have put forward to keep this building safe,” McEnany told reporters.
Pence was traveling to Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday to meet with faith leaders to discuss plans to reopen houses of worship, and later agricultural and food supply leaders to discuss steps being taken to secure the food supply during the pandemic.
Pence’s flight on Air Force Two was delayed roughly an hour Friday morning and some staffers deplaned before the flight took off. A senior administration official told reporters aboard the flight that the staffer who tested positive had potentially been in contact with six people scheduled to fly and that those individuals were removed from the flight.
“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,” the senior administration official said.
All six of those staffers have since tested negative for the virus.
The person who tested positive was not on the plane nor scheduled to be on the trip. The official said the individual did not have recent contact with Trump but declined to go into detail regarding the level of contact with Pence.
The White House has taken extra precautions to protect the president and vice president from contracting the disease, including regularly testing them for the virus and testing those who come in close contact with them. The White House has also instituted temperature checks for those entering the complex and regular deep cleaning of all work areas.
Trump said Thursday that he would be tested daily for COVID-19 after the valet tested positive. The president said he was not in regular contact with the person but called the situation “a little bit strange.”
Updated at 6:02 p.m.