A top White House official has been diagnosed with COVID-19, Bloomberg News reported on Monday morning.
The White House confirmed in a statement that National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien has contracted the virus but has “mild symptoms and has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off-site.”
Close to home
O’Brien is the highest-ranking Trump administration official to contract the virus, bringing the impact of the pandemic closer to home than ever for President Trump.
Bloomberg reported that O’Brien believes he contracted the disease after attending a family event while he was “taking a few days off from work.”
O’Brien reportedly has contracted a mild case, however, and is still running the National Security Council from home.
High-ranking White House officials and those in close contact with Trump and Pence are tested daily for the virus, and others entering the White House are screened for signs of disease before being granted entry.
Previously, the highest-ranking White House official to contract the virus was Mike Pence’s press secretary Katie Miller, who returned to work in late May after three weeks in isolation following her diagnosis.
No risk to Trump
According to the White House statement, O’Brien has not had contact with President Trump or Vice President Pence in the last week and that there is “there is no risk of exposure” to either.
Breitbart News reported on Monday that “Brien was last photographed with Trump during a trip to Florida on July 10. Afterward, O’Brien traveled to France and met with fellow National Security advisors in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy.”
After a lull in COVID-19 worries in order to focus on Black Lives Matter protests for the better part of June, concerns about coronavirus have ramped up steeply in recent weeks.
President Trump has resumed his daily coronavirus press briefings after a nearly three-month hiatus. As COVID-19 cases rise in several new hotspots including California and Florida, President Trump warned that “it will probably unfortunately get worse before it gets better.”
According to the most recent data collected by Johns Hopkins University, since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 4.2 million confirmed cases and 146,935 deaths.