2nd White House Staffer Tests Positive This Week

Member of Mike Pence's staff is the latest
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2020 12:29 PM CDT
Updated May 8, 2020 12:57 PM CDT
Reports: Pence Staffer Tests Positive
Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Trump holds a meeting about the coronavirus response with Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, in the Oval Office Thursday, May 7.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – COVID-19 appears to be getting closer and closer to the president and vice president. A day after news that one of President Trump's personal valets tested positive comes news that a staffer in VP Mike Pence's office did as well. The AP reports that the unidentified staffer tested positive on Wednesday, and reports at CNN, Bloomberg, and NBC News say much the same. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed the diagnosis Friday afternoon, per the Hill. The White House medical office is tracking down and retesting those who have been in direct contact with the staffer. It wasn't clear if the vice president was among them.

After the valet news Thursday, the White House ramped up rapid testing for those in Trump's immediate orbit, reports the Washington Post. And "we have put in place the guidelines that our experts have put forward to keep this building safe," McEnany said. “We clean the facility, we social distance, we keep people six feet away from each other." The Pence news first surfaced in a tweet from a Bloomberg reporter traveling with him. The VP's Friday morning flight to Des Moines was delayed as people disembarked, and the Hill reports that six people were asked to leave the plane to be retested because they were in contact with the staffer. None were showing symptoms, says a White House official. (Another Pence staffer tested positive in March.)

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