President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE on Wednesday confirmed that a White House staffer tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours but said he did not have contact with the individual.
The positive test came after the White House hosted hundreds of people on the South Lawn on Tuesday for the signing of peace accords to mark the normalization of relations between Israel and two Arab countries. Trump offered few details on the latest positive case at the White House.
"Last night I heard about it for the first time, and it's a small number of cases," Trump told reporters at a news conference, appearing unfamiliar with the specifics.
He turned to press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who earlier in the day told reporters she would not discuss any potential positive tests within the building. She confirmed at the evening briefing that one unidentified person tested positive but that "it did not affect the event and press was not around the individual."
"And it's not anybody that was near me," Trump added.
The White House has not publicized each individual case of COVID-19 among staff, though some cases have been confirmed after they were reported in the press. National security adviser Robert O'BrienRobert O'BrienTrump's last national security adviser endorses JD Vance in Ohio Senate race Huawei says sales rose in 2020, but growth slowed amid US sanctions White House aides head for exits after chaos at Capitol MORE has already had COVID-19. So has a White House valet who serves the president. Katie Miller, the vice president's communications director and the wife of Trump senior adviser Stephen MillerStephen MillerWhy is the Biden administration turning its back on asylum seekers? Defense & National Security: The post-airlift evacuation struggle How Trump broke the system that offers protection to Afghan allies MORE, also has had COVID-19.
The latest positive test follows weeks of the White House shirking guidelines from its own public health officials on preventing transmission of COVID-19.
Officials have eschewed wearing masks, and the president has held large events outdoors for weeks, dating back to last month's Republican National Convention, where hundreds of people were packed closely together during his speech to accept the nomination.
The president held a packed campaign rally on Sunday that was indoors and in violation of a Nevada ordinance capping events at 50 people. Gov. Steve SisolakSteve SisolakEx-Sen. Dean Heller announces run for Nevada governor Former Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - US speeds evacuations as thousands of Americans remain in Afghanistan MORE (D) blasted Trump's actions as "shameful, dangerous and irresponsible."