A staffer in Vice President Mike Pence’s office tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday, marking the second known case of COVID-19 this week in someone who has access to President Donald Trump’s inner circle.
CBS News and Politico confirmed that the staffer is Katie Waldman Miller, Pence’s press secretary who is married to Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to Trump. Trump had said earlier that the infected staffer was a “press person” for Pence named Katie.
According to White House pool reports, Pence’s flight to Des Moines, Iowa, was delayed on the tarmac of Joint Base Andrews in Maryland for an hour Friday morning, and multiple people deplaned. Six people who had contact with Katie Miller were removed from the flight, CNN reported, citing White House sources.
On Thursday, the White House confirmed that a personal military valet for Trump ― a staff member who comes in close contact with both him and his family and serves them food ― had a confirmed case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
He and other valets have not been wearing masks, the White House said Thursday. Trump said Friday morning on Fox News that “they’ve already started” to wear them.
Both Trump and Pence tested negative for the coronavirus on Thursday, the White House reported. However, this second diagnosis again raises the possibility that Trump has been exposed to the virus. He often downplays the magnitude of the pandemic and focuses on reopening the nation’s economy.
Pence came under fire last week for not wearing a mask during a visit to Minnesota’s prestigious Mayo Clinic. He has admitted that was a mistake, saying he “didn’t think it was necessary, but I should have worn a mask.”
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