Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinFormer Treasury secretaries tried to resolve debt limit impasse in talks with McConnell, Yellen: report Menendez, Rubio ask Yellen to probe meatpacker JBS The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Biden rallies Senate Dems behind mammoth spending plan MORE, who met with the top congressional leaders this week, has tested negative for COVID-19, a department spokesman said Friday morning.
The news comes hours after President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE announced that he and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpFormer aide sees Melania Trump as 'the doomed French queen': book If another 9/11 happened in a divided 2021, could national unity be achieved again? Former Trump aide Stephanie Grisham planning book: report MORE have both tested positive for the coronavirus.
Mnuchin has been leading the negotiations for the White House on another round of emergency coronavirus aid after weeks of stalled talks. He had huddled Wednesday with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Manchin: Biden told moderates to pitch price tag for reconciliation bill On The Money — Democrats rush to finish off infrastructure MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money — Democrats rush to finish off infrastructure Biden employs flurry of meetings to unite warring factions GOP senators say Biden COVID-19 strategy has 'exacerbated vaccine hesitancy' MORE (R-Ky.) in their Capitol offices.
Mnuchin is in regular contact with Trump and other top White House officials, though it’s unclear if the Treasury secretary had in-person contact with the president leading up to his visit to the Capitol.
Mnuchin did not hold any in-person meetings with either leader on Thursday, though it was unclear whether that decision was based on private concerns about a potential outbreak among Trump’s inner circle.
“As part of regular protocols, Secretary @stevenmnuchin1 has been tested daily for COVID-19. He tested negative for COVID-19 this morning and will continue to be tested daily,” Treasury spokeswoman Monica Crowley tweeted on Friday.
As part of regular protocols, Secretary @stevenmnuchin1 has been tested daily for COVID-19. He tested negative for COVID-19 this morning and will continue to be tested daily.— Monica Crowley (@TreasurySpox) October 2, 2020
Appearing on MSNBC, Pelosi said she was praying for Trump and the first lady and called it a "tragic and very sad" moment for the country. The Speaker said "out of an abundance of caution" she was tested Friday morning and expected to get the results soon. But she also raised questions about the reliability of rapid testing at the White House.
"I have concern about the test because, obviously, the tests that are happening at the White House are not as accurate as they should be," Pelosi told MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle.
A Pelosi spokesman did not immediately respond to questions about whether the Speaker and Mnuchin took precautions during their 90-minute meeting, including wearing masks and sitting six feet apart. Pelosi has made a habit of wearing a mask in the Capitol, except when she participates in press conferences or TV interviews.
Vice President Pence and White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsGraham found Trump election fraud arguments suitable for 'third grade': Woodward book Allies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US prepares vaccine booster plan MORE also visited the Capitol this week, accompanying Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, as she met with top Senate Republicans, including McConnell. Meadows has tested negative for the coronavirus, a spokesman told The Hill early Friday. And Pence and his wife have also tested negative, Pence spokesman Devin O’Malley tweeted Friday morning.
Earlier in the year, the White House had offered to supply congressional lawmakers with rapid COVID-19 testing, but it was refused by Pelosi and McConnell, who said the resources would be better spent on hard-hit areas of the country.
Trump’s diagnosis could raise new questions about that decision, although any reversal is coming late: the House is tentatively scheduled to leave Washington on Friday for a long break of pre-election campaigning, and the Senate is expected to recess at the end of next week.
Updated at 9:46 a.m.