Marine assigned to Trump’s helicopter squadron tests positive for COVID-19
A U.S. Marine assigned to President Trump’s helicopter squadron tested positive for the novel coronavirus this week, according to the service.
The Marine assigned to Marine Helicopter Squadron One tested positive after flying to Bedminster, N.J., in advance of the president’s upcoming stay there this weekend.
The Marine Corps said that the service member, who is asymptomatic, was tested on July 21 and that the results came back on July 23. The Marine Corps said it is coordinating with the White House medical staff to perform contact tracing.
“Out of an abundance of caution, Marines who may have had contact with the infected Marine have been removed from the detachment,” the Marine Corps said in a statement to The Hill.
“The infected Marine was never in direct contact with the President’s helicopter, Marine One. To ensure the cleanliness of all HMX-1 aircraft in Bedminster, HMX-1 is sanitizing each helicopter in accordance with the guidelines published by the Center for Disease Control,” the service continued.
A White House official said that the service member did not have any contact with Trump or any administration personnel while traveling to Bedminster.
The development, which was first reported by Politico on Thursday, is not expected to impact the president’s travel to his golf club in Bedminster this weekend. He is scheduled to depart the White House Friday afternoon.
The positive case follows news that a cafeteria employee working on the White House grounds, specifically the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, had tested positive for the coronavirus. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday on Fox News that the White House performed contact tracing and found that there was no “significant contact” with anyone in the building.
The White House has been regularly testing Trump and Vice President Pence for COVID-19 in addition to testing those who come in close contact with them. McEnany told reporters earlier this week that Trump was tested sometimes “multiple times a day,” though the president later said he is tested every two or three days on average and hasn’t been tested more than once in a single day.
Updated at 11:01 a.m.