A White House reported has tested positive for COVID-19, White House Correspondents’ Association president Jonathan Karl confirmed on Friday.
Karl wrote in an email that the unidentified individual had attended White House press briefings as recently as Wednesday.
Coronavirus in the White House
The individual is reportedly asymptomatic, and the only time the individual spent in the White House was in the briefing room itself.
“The individual attended briefings on Monday 7/6 and Wednesday 7/8 afternoons and wore a mask the entire time they were on the White House complex,” Karl wrote.
The White House is reportedly offering free testing to anyone that came in contact with the individual that received the positive diagnosis.
Though this is far from the first positive COVID-19 test in the White House, it’s one of the first cases among White House correspondents.
A rash of White House personnel received positive diagnoses in May, including Vice President Mike Pence’s Press Secretary, Katie Miller, as well as several unidentified Secret Service personnel. President Trump himself is tested for the virus on a daily basis.
Fear of the virus was put on hold for most of the month of June while protests and riots against police brutality raged. As the protests lost steam, however, the virus appeared to take hold again.
California, Florida, and Texas all reported new records of the daily number of COVID-19 related deaths on Thursday, according to The Hill.
Some governors are threatening to reverse the progress made towards reopening in May and June as positive cases continue to spike.
However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s foremost infectious disease expert, said on Thursday that despite the media hysteria surrounding the spike, it’s not time to return to the lockdowns seen in March and April.
“I would think we need to get the states pausing in their opening process, looking at what did not work well and try to mitigate that,” Fauci told The Hill on Thursday. “I don’t think we need to go back to an extreme of shutting down.”