Ben Carson Tests Positive For COVID-19 After Attending Election Party At White House
Carson is one of several members of the Trump administration to recently test positive for the virus, including Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Ben Carson, the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has tested positive for COVID-19. Carson is one of several members of the Trump administration to recently test positive for the virus, including Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
On Monday, multiple outlets confirmed that Carson contracted COVID-19 — days after attending an election night watch party at the White House. Carson was reportedly tested at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after experiencing symptoms, but he was not admitted.
Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs reported Friday that the White House was experiencing another cluster of cases, confirming that Meadows and four other aides have coronavirus.
NowThis has reached out to a representative for HUD to confirm Carson’s diagnosis.
Several other prominent political figures attended the election night party —which reportedly included hundreds of guests who weren’t wearing masks indoors. Other high-profile attendees included Attorney General Bill Barr, Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, and Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, according to Jacobs. It is not immediately clear if Carson contracted the virus at the party.
Carson’s deputy chief of staff Coalter Baker told ABC News that “he is in good spirits and feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery.”
Carson is a member of the White House coronavirus task force and is a former neurosurgeon, and has appeared at Trump rallies without wearing a mask.
After the Rose Garden “superspreader” event in honor of Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court Justice nomination in September, President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and several other attendees tested positive for COVID-19.
President Trump and several other prominent members of his administration have for months downplayed the severity of the virus and have dismissed experts’ recommendations on shutdowns, social distancing, and mask mandates.
The news of Carson’s positive test came shortly after president-elect Joe Biden announced his plans to immediately tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in a press conference Monday morning. Biden also announced on Sunday his plan for transitioning into his own coronavirus task force.
Pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer also announced Monday that its coronavirus vaccine trial is 90% effective at preventing infection. Pfizer said it plans to submit the vaccine to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization later this month. The company also said it observed no safety concerns in the study on the vaccine, co-developed with German biotech company BioNTech.
The COVID-19 pandemic is surging nationwide as the U.S. grapples with record-breaking numbers of new daily cases. More than 10 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the U.S., including at least 237,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.