Sources: We Were Told to Keep Quiet on Meadows' COVID

White House chief of staff has long pushed back on wearing face masks, and on their effectiveness
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2020 6:30 AM CST
Reports: WH Chief of Staff Has COVID-19
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows walks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Oct. 30, 2020.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Another high-level person in Trump's inner circle has reportedly been infected with the coronavirus. This time it's chief of staff Mark Meadows, who's said to have tested positive on Wednesday, a source tells Bloomberg, which first reported on the development. Another source adds that Meadows informed a small group of advisers after Tuesday's election was over. And he's not the only new case tied to the administration: Senior Trump campaign aide Nick Trainer is also said to be infected, as are at least four White House officials, who haven't been named. Sources tell Bloomberg, the New York Times, and the Washington Post that others were instructed not to let word of Meadows' diagnosis—which comes about a month after President Trump himself was sick with COVID-19—get out.

Meadows, 61, is rarely seen in public wearing a face mask. He was spotted without one at Trump campaign headquarters both on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, and on Tuesday night, he attended the president's election party in the East Room, which was attended by several hundred people, many of whom weren't wearing masks (it's not clear if Meadows sported one). He has also mocked reporters wearing face coverings, pushed back on the effectiveness of masks, and reportedly tried to keep it quiet when five aides working for Vice President Mike Pence contracted the virus. Last month, he also took flak after appearing on CNN and insisting that the US is "not going to control the pandemic." "As if things weren't bad enough, now this," a White House official laments to CNN about Meadows' reported diagnosis. There's been no comment from Meadows' camp. (Read more Mark Meadows stories.)

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