Vice president Mike Pence’s office confirmed on Saturday evening that Pence’s top aide, chief of staff Mark Short, has tested positive for COVID-19.
Another top Pence aide, outside adviser Marty Obst, also tested positive for the virus on Saturday, raising concerns that yet another wave of COVID-19 will sweep through the White House with less than 10 days until election day.
According to a White House statement to reporters, “Today, Marc Short, Chief of Staff to the Vice President, tested positive for COVID-19, began quarantine and assisting in the contact tracing process.”
Breitbart reported on Saturday that “Short is one of Pence’s closest aides and spends a lot of time with the vice president.” However, both Mike Pence and wife Karen have reportedly tested negative for COVID-19 since Short’s diagnosis.
Pence will not self-isolate “out of an abundance of caution” like many public figures have in the past when a close contact contracts the virus.
Instead, Pence will continue his previously planned travel schedule — while following CDC virus prevention guidelines — and will continue to carry out his vice-presidential duties, a decision that the liberal media is having a meltdown over.
The White House did not reveal whether or not Pence has been in close contact with Short or Obst in recent days, but White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was grilled by CNN host Jake Tapper on Sunday about Pence’s decision to forego the typical self-isolation protocol.
Tapper asked Meadows for a precise number of White House staffers infected with the virus currently, which Meadows declined to provide. “We don’t give out that kind of information,” said Meadows.
Meadows explained that Pence will skip the self-isolation because he’s considered an “essential” worker. When Tapper questioned whether campaigning for Donald Trump is classified as “essential” work, Meadows pointed out Pence’s duties as the head of the coronavirus task force and Pence’s recent diplomatic efforts in regard to middle east peace.
Meadows did admit that Pence is also campaigning, explaining, “I’m not saying he’s not campaigning. I’m saying that is only part of what he’s doing. As we look at that, essential personnel, whether it’s the vice president of the United States or anyone else, has to continue on.”
The White House representative pointed out that CDC guidelines allow for individuals like Pence to continue working if they wear a mask.
“I can tell you that what he’s doing is wearing a mask, socially distancing and when he goes up to speak he will take the mask off, put it back on,” Meadows remarked.