Top health officials cleared for meetings at White House after self-isolating

Top health officials cleared for meetings at White House after self-isolating
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Three top Trump administration health officials who had been self-quarantining after possible exposure to the novel coronavirus have been cleared to participate in meetings at the White House complex, officials announced Tuesday.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn and top infectious disease expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciNorth Carolina couple married 50 years dies minutes apart of coronavirus holding hands As virus pummels US, Europe sees its own spike Democratic chairman says White House blocked FDA commissioner from testifying MORE said in a statement the administration concluded that the guidelines for critical infrastructure workers apply to them due to their work on the federal response to COVID-19.

Those guidelines, issued by the CDC in April, say that workers in critical infrastructure sectors can continue to work following potential exposure so long as they remain asymptomatic and take other precautions, such as satisfying temperature screenings and wearing a mask.

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“Therefore, providing that they are asymptomatic, screened, and monitored for fever and other symptoms, wear a face covering, and maintain a distance of at least six feet from others, Drs. Redfield, Hahn, and Fauci can and will participate in meetings on the White House complex when their attendance is needed,” reads the statement issued Tuesday afternoon.

Redfield, Hahn and Fauci — all of whom are members of the White House coronavirus task force — each disclosed plans to self-isolate over the weekend after possible exposure to an infected individual at the White House.

The news came after two White House staff members tested positive for the coronavirus late in the week, including Katie Miller, Vice President Pence’s press secretary who has been handling communications for the task force.

All three administration officials delivered remote testimony before a Senate committee earlier Tuesday on the federal response to the pandemic.

The White House has taken steps to stem the spread of the virus within the West Wing in recent days, including rolling out a new policy requiring aides to wear masks except when sitting at their desks.

Pence, who has continued to work from the White House this week, has also chosen to keep distance from President Trump for the immediate future as a precautionary measure. Both the president and vice president are tested daily for COVID-19 and have not tested positive.