SPONSORED:

Mnuchin tests negative for coronavirus after meeting with Pelosi, McConnell

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience On The Money: Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed | Trump administration proposal takes aim at bank pledges to avoid fossil fuel financing | JPMorgan: Economy will shrink in first quarter due to COVID-19 spike Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed 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 John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE announced that he and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony Watch live: Trump pardons Thanksgiving turkey Secret Service agents asked about transferring to Florida to guard Trump after he leaves office: 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 PelosiSpending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation Rep. Rick Allen tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellImmigration, executive action top Biden preview of first 100 days Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight McConnell pushed Trump to nominate Barrett on the night of Ginsburg's death: report MORE (R-Ky.) in their Capitol offices.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 Randall MeadowsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony Overnight Defense: Pentagon set for tighter virus restrictions as top officials tests positive | Military sees 11th COVID-19 death | House Democrats back Senate language on Confederate base names Trump administration revives talk of action on birthright citizenship 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.