Administration

Trump confirms another White House staffer tested positive for COVID-19

President Trump 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’Brien 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 Miller, 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 Sisolak (D) blasted Trump’s actions as “shameful, dangerous and irresponsible.”

Tags Donald Trump Robert O'Brien Stephen Miller Steve Sisolak
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