After Tests at White House, 'We Had a Couple of Positives'

Aides won't discuss report on coronavirus results
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2020 4:45 PM CDT
After Tests at White House, 'We Had a Couple of Positives'
Bahrain Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, left, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Trump, and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan look at the documents during a ceremony Tuesday outside the White House.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The day after a crowd of people, many not wearing masks, sat close together at a signing ceremony at the White House, officials declined to discuss a report that staff members had tested positive for the coronavirus. "I don't comment on any health-related issues as it relates to the White House ever," Mark Meadows, the chief of staff, told press reporters on Wednesday, KYW reports. A Brazilian journalist had tweeted that reporters were summoned late for their standard coronavirus tests earlier in the day because, she was told: "It was a very busy morning. We had a couple of positives today." Asked about that, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany also declined to answer. "I don't share people's personal medical information," she said, per a CSPAN tweet.

Neither President Trump nor the leaders of other nations who attended the ceremony Tuesday on the South Lawn wore masks, per CNN, and social distancing wasn't in evidence. Before the ceremony, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, and Trump met in the Oval Office, with few masks in use. Vice President Mike Pence and a number of Cabinet and senior staff members were seen without masks. The invitation to the ceremony suggested masks but didn't require it, an official said. Israeli officials especially were troubled at the failure to follow the pandemic rules in force at home. Still, Netanyahu was not spotted with a mask. Israeli news reports said several White House employees tested positive, per the Jerusalem Post. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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