News

VP Mike Pence's Press Secretary Tests Positive for COVID-19

A personal valet for President Trump also tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, according to White House officials.

Vice President Mike Pence during the daily briefing of the coronavirus task force on April 27, 2020. Getty Images.

A member of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff has tested positive for coronavirus, President Trump confirmed during a meeting on Friday.

During a press briefing Friday morning, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany first told reporters that one of Pence’s staffers tested positive for COVID-19. Trump later confirmed during a meeting with Republican members of Congress that Pence's press secretary, Katie Miller, was the one who tested positive. The president added that he had not been in direct contact with Miller, but that Pence had been. 

Earlier on Friday, Pence was set to fly to Des Moines, Iowa, but was delayed by an hour. According to CNN, a senior member of the administration said that people were seen leaving Air Force Two before the plane took off. The report also said that six people scheduled to go on the trip were in contact with Miller.

During McEnany's briefing, she told reporters that the White House is following guidelines given to other essential businesses when it comes to a positive case, which include contact tracing, social distancing, and continuing to “operate safely.” A reporter asked what precautions the president and vice president were taking after Trump’s personal valet was confirmed to have tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday. McEnany said both Trump and Pence are regularly tested. Pence’s staff of about 10 people are reportedly tested daily. She did not specify how much contact Trump has made with his personal valet, but Trump told reporters on Thursday he had “very little personal contact with this gentleman.” 

Both Pence and Trump have been observed not wearing masks, despite health experts' recommendation that people wear masks when they’re not able to practice social distancing. A day after Trump’s driver tested positive, the president and first lady attended an event to commemorate the anniversary of VE Day without masks on.