White House hotbed of viral activity
October 6, 2020 - One of President Donald Trump’s closest advisers, Stephen Miller, announced late on Tuesday (October 6), he tested positive for Covid-19. Miller is the latest member of the president’s inner circle to be diagnosed with the highly contagious disease.
At least 15 top Republicans who met with Trump recently have tested positive for coronavirus. A further 18 members of Congress -- 10 Republicans and eight Democrats -- and 11 Secret Service agents have also tested positive.
Trump, 74, revealed on October 2 that he and the first lady, Melania Trump, had tested positive for coronavirus. The disclosure came following reports that top Trump adviser Hope Hicks had tested positive.
Known cases of coronavirus at or near the White House include Nick Luna, Trump’s so-called “body man.” Luna, who runs Oval Office operation, accompanied Trump on his trip to Cleveland for the presidential debate and was also aboard Air Force One when Hicks first began experiencing symptoms.
Other Covid victims include former White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
A White House Rose Garden celebration for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, on September 26, has been linked to the infections. At least 11 people, including the president, may have become infected at the ceremony. Senators Thom Tillis and Mike Lee tested positive for Covid after attending the ceremony.
On Monday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said she has tested positive. Two of McEnany’s deputies, Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt, also tested positive, adding to questions about how widespread the West Wing outbreak will become.
Others infected include Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of President Trump’s eldest son; a White House valet and Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary.
Herman Cain, a former Republican presidential candidate and Trump ally died from the virus in July after attending a Trump campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Just hours after McEnany tested positive, Trump again dismissed the pandemic that has killed more than 210,000 people in the United States, telling Americans “don’t be afraid of it.”
- Factbox: White House staff, top Republicans who have tested positive for COVID-19 (Reuters)
- Factbox: Coronavirus in U.S. Congress - 18 members have tested or been presumed positive (Reuters)
- Back at White House, Trump Minimizes Virus Risk (New York Times)
- White House adviser Stephen Miller tests positive for Covid-19 (Reuters)
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