Pence's 'body man' among aides who tested positive for coronavirus: report

Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Will Pence primary Trump — and win? Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary MORE’s “body man” was among the aides who tested positive for COVID-19, CNN reported on Sunday.

Zach Bauer, who serves as the vice president’s “body man,” was one of the staffers who tested positive earlier this week, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN. The duties of a body man include accompanying Pence throughout the day and night and assisting him with a variety of activities. 

At least five people in Pence’s circle have tested positive for coronavirus in recent days, sources told CNN, including chief of staff Marc Short, which the vice president’s office confirmed Saturday evening, and adviser Marty Obst, who is not a government employee.

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"Today, Marc Short, Chief of Staff to the Vice President, tested positive for COVID-19, began quarantine and assisting in the contact tracing process," Pence's press secretary Devin O'Malley said in a statement Saturday. "Vice President Pence and Mrs. Pence both tested negative for COVID-19 today, and remain in good health."

"While Vice President Pence is considered a close contact with Mr. Short, in consultation with the White House Medical Unit, the Vice President will maintain his schedule in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel," O'Malley said.

Besides Short, Pence’s office has not identified the other aides who have tested positive in recent days or confirmed the total number of infected individuals in the office. The New York Times first reported the outbreak among Pence’s inner circle on Saturday. 

The vice president and second lady Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceJill Biden takes starring role at difficult Olympics Pence refused to leave Capitol during riot: book Doug Emhoff carves out path as first second gentleman MORE tested negative for COVID-19 on Sunday, a White House official said, in addition to their negative tests on Saturday after the office reported Short’s infection.

Pence’s office declined to comment on Bauer's reported positive test.  

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White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsTrump to Pence on Jan. 6: 'You don't have the courage' Trump said whoever leaked information about stay in White House bunker should be 'executed,' author claims 'Just say we won,' Giuliani told Trump aides on election night: book MORE declined to say on CNN’s “State of the Union” how many people in Pence’s office tested positive for the virus, saying “we don’t give out that kind of information.”

Meadows said revealing that information is only appropriate in the case of President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE, Pence or those in their inner circle. 

"Anytime there's someone in harm's way, we have an obligation to let people know for contract-tracing," he said.

The vice president plans to continue with his travel schedule this week ahead of Election Day, with Meadows noting Pence will wear a mask and social distance. 

Trump administration and campaign officials defended Pence’s planned travel this week, calling him an essential worker. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends those who are considered a close contact of someone with COVID-19 to stay home for 14 days from their last contact with that individual.