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White House economist who just announced resignation tests positive for COVID-19

A White House economist who just announced this week that he will be leaving his post said he tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month.

Tomas Philipson, who said this week he will resign as acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, confirmed in an email to The Wall Street Journal that he experienced a “very mild case of one day of fever” and that the White House had a “very capable medical team that managed my case exceptionally well during the infection.”

He added that his health is now back to normal, but did not clarify when he was diagnosed or whether he had returned to work prior to his announcement this week. 

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A White House official told the Journal that Trump and Philipson spent little time together, though the two were seen standing close to each other on June 5 at an event in the Rose Garden.

Trump and staffers who come in close contact with him are tested regularly for the coronavirus.

Philipson announced earlier this week that he was leaving the White House after serving in various capacities for nearly three years. 

“I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve on your Council of Economic Advisers for nearly three years,” Philipson wrote to Trump in a June 23 letter announcing his departure. “It was the honor of a lifetime to work for a President who prioritizes pro-growth and market-based reforms that uplift all Americans. When the American people are free to work, invest, and create jobs without excessive government restraints, there is no limit to what they can achieve.” 

Philipson's confirmation of his COVID-19 case comes as several states across the country see spikes in coronavirus cases, leading some to hit pause or backtrack on their reopening plans to try to grapple with the new outbreaks.