Hours after U.S. President Donald Trump revealed that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said he anticipated more cases to come.
“I fully expect that, as this virus continues to go on, other people in the White House will certainly have a positive test result,” he told reporters Friday.
Yet multiple cases have already been confirmed among those who have had close contact with Trump and his close advisor, Hope Hicks, whose diagnosis prompted the test that confirmed Trump had the virus.
Many of those people attended a Sept. 26 event in the White House Rose Garden where Trump officially nominated Amy Coney Barrett for the U.S. Supreme Court. Nearly a dozen more were involved in setting up the president’s first debate with Joe Biden on Sept. 29.
Here’s who has tested positive so far.
Trump’s former campaign manager and counsellor to the president Kellyanne Conway confirmed she tested positive late Friday.
In a tweet, Conway said she is experiencing mild symptoms including a light cough, and she is “feeling fine.”
“I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians,” she wrote. “As always, my heart is with everyone affected by this global pandemic.”
Conway attended the Rose Garden event Saturday, and was seen speaking without a mask to others in the crowd, including Attorney General William Barr.
She left the White House in August to spend more time with her family.
Sen. Mike Lee
Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah said in a statement Friday that he tested positive the day before, after experiencing symptoms “consistent with longtime allergies.”
He said he will be quarantining for the next 10 days and will be working from home.
Lee also attended Barrett’s nomination ceremony and was seen on camera hugging other attendees without wearing a mask.
In addition, Lee sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has been tasked with holding the hearings to confirm Barrett to the Supreme Court.
Lee assured in his statement that he will be back to work in time for those hearings, which are scheduled to begin on Oct. 12.
Sen. Thom Tillis
North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, a Republican, said his COVID-19 test came back positive Friday night.
“Thankfully, I have no symptoms and feel well,” he said, while urging his constituents to follow public health guidelines to limit the virus’ spread.
Like Lee, Tillis attended the Rose Garden ceremony for Barrett and sits on the Judiciary Committee. Unlike Lee, Tillis wore a mask on Saturday.
Yet Tillis also participated in a televised debate with the Democratic challenger for his Senate seat, Cal Cunningham, on Thursday night.
White House journalists
So far, three members of the White House press pool have tested positive, according to a statement from White House Correspondents Association president and Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller. The names of the journalists have not been released.
At least one of those journalists attended the Rose Garden event on Saturday, while another had travelled with the president through the weekend. The third attended Trump’s press conference on Sunday.
Several other members of the press corps are self-isolating as they await testing. White House medical staff are conducting contact tracing for the three positive cases, Miller said.
“We ask that if you were on the White House grounds or in the pools those days, that you pay extra attention to any changes in your health,” he told members in a statement.
Notre Dame University president John Jenkins
An email from Notre Dame University staff Friday confirmed its president, Rev. John Jenkins, tested positive after a colleague of his was diagnosed.
Jenkins was already in quarantine when he was tested this week after attending the Rose Garden ceremony for Barrett, who earned her law degree from Notre Dame University and was a faculty member there.
In a statement posted on the university’s website shortly after the event, Jenkins said he made an “error of judgment” by not wearing a mask during the ceremony, and by shaking hands with a number of people in the Rose Garden.
“I failed to lead by example, at a time when I’ve asked everyone else in the Notre Dame community to do so,” he wrote. “I especially regret my mistake in light of the sacrifices made on a daily basis by many, particularly our students, in adjusting their lives to observe our health protocols.”
Hope Hicks, one of the president’s most trusted and longest-serving confidantes, began feeling mild symptoms during the plane ride home from a Trump re-election campaign rally in Duluth, Minn., Wednesday evening, an administration official told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
She was isolated from other passengers aboard the plane and her diagnosis was confirmed Thursday, the person said.
Hicks, who serves as counsellor to the president, also accompanied him and other senior aides to the first presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday.
She was frequently seen not wearing a mask at several of these debates, while those around her — including members of the president’s family — also did not have their faces covered.
Debate prep staff
According to a statement from the City of Cleveland Friday, 11 people involved with the planning and set-up of Tuesday’s presidential debate between Trump and Joe Biden have tested positive.
The debate was held at in an open-air pavilion shared by the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University. While those who attended the debate on behalf of Biden wore masks in the audience, most of those with Trump did not.
Some of those cases are people from outside Ohio who may be continuing to travel, the city said.
This list will be updated as more cases are confirmed
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