“We were recently notified by the White House Medical Unit that a member of the United States Military, who works on the White House campus, has tested positive for coronavirus,” deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement after CNN first reported the news of the valet’s infection. “The President and the Vice President have since tested negative for the virus, and they remain in great health.”
The unidentified man is a member of the U.S. Navy and serves as one of Trump’s personal valets, according to CNN. He is part of an elite military unit that works in the White House and comes into close contact with Trump and his family.
The valet showed “symptoms” Wednesday morning, a source told CNN, which also reported that “the news that someone close to Trump had tested positive for coronavirus was ‘hitting the fan’ in the West Wing.”
A White House official told NBC that the valet serves meals to Trump, and that valets have not been wearing masks.
The man’s diagnosis raises the possibility that Trump has been exposed to the coronavirus at the same time he and his administration have downplayed the pandemic’s magnitude.
The White House appears to be winding down its already insufficient response and is intent on reopening the economy — even as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise throughout much of the country.
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