It has seemed for a while now that it was probably only a matter of time before someone in the White House contracted the new coronavirus, and it appears that day has finally come.
It was revealed on Friday that a staffer in Vice President Mike Pence’s office has tested positive for COVID-19, The Hill reported.
Pence staffer tests positive for COVID-19
As of now, it appears that the sickened staffer was of a low level and not somebody who has been in close contact with either the vice president or President Donald Trump.
Katie Miller, a spokeswoman for the vice president, said in a statement, “This evening we were notified that a member of the Office of the Vice President tested positive for the Coronavirus.”
“Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual,” she added. “Further contact tracing is being conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines.”
The Hill noted that it felt inevitable that the viral contagion would eventually spread to somebody within the White House, given that Congress has already been affected by multiple lawmakers and staffers testing positive. A number of other members and staffers who had prior contact with confirmed cases but haven’t tested positive themselves have placed themselves into quarantine and isolation as well.
Furthermore, this wasn’t the first time that somebody fairly close to the top tier of the White House and who may have been in contact with either Pence or Trump has tested positive for the new illness.
There was an individual who tested positive following the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in late February as well as a member of a Brazilian delegation that met with Trump and top officials at the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in early March who both may have been in contact with Pence or Trump or others who are routinely in close contact with them.
Abundance of caution
The Hill reported that Vice President Pence stated that he and his wife Karen will be tested for the virus, given the circumstances, but that the White House doctor “indicated that he has no reason to believe that [he] was exposed.”
Meanwhile, the White House has been taking extra precautions to reduce the risk of an outbreak of the viral disease within the president’s team or residence, including limiting contact by having some staffers work from home and by checking for temperatures and symptoms of everyone who comes and goes from the premises.
“In order to keep the entire White House complex safe and healthy, beginning Monday morning, temperature checks will be conducted on everyone who enters campus,” White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement last week. “As was announced over the weekend, additional temperature checks will be conducted on individuals who are in close contact with the president and vice president throughout the day.”
Hopefully, the vice president and those with whom he is in contact — especially President Trump — will continue to remain healthy and safe from the contagion that is still spreading around the country.