Vice President Pence will continue working from the White House this week after his press secretary tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday, a spokesman said Sunday.
“Vice President Pence will continue to follow the advice of the White House Medical Unit and is not in quarantine. Additionally, Vice President Pence has tested negative every single day and plans to be at the White House tomorrow,” Pence spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement.
Multiple news outlets reported that Pence was self-isolating after his press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday. One person familiar with the matter told The Hill that Pence may lay low for a few days and take extra precautions.
Three of the government’s top health officials have since announced they are going into some form of self-quarantine after interacting with Miller in the days leading up to her positive test.
Food and Drug Administration Administrator Stephen Hahn and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield both intend to self-quarantine, according to spokespeople. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci to enter ‘modified quarantine’: report Sunday shows preview: As states loosen social distancing restrictions, lawmakers address dwindling state budgets Cuomo, DeWine and Beshear are most popular governors as bobbleheads MORE, the top infectious diseases expert at the National Institutes of Health, said he will go into a “modified” self-quarantine.
All three are members of the White House coronavirus task force, which is led by Pence. Miller is said to have sat in on at least one of the group’s meetings last week.
The three health officials were also slated to testify before a Senate committee this week and will now do so via videoconference.
Miller, who is married to senior White House adviser Stephen MillerStephen MillerIvanka Trump’s personal assistant tests positive for coronavirus FDA chief to self-quarantine after exposure to person with coronavirus Eleven Secret Service agents test positive for COVID-19: report MORE, was one of two White House officials to test positive for the coronavirus last week. The other is a military member who works as a valet for President TrumpDonald John TrumpFauci to enter ‘modified quarantine’: report CDC director will self-quarantine after contact with COVID-19 positive case Trump says US will purchase billion in agricultural products from farmers MORE.
The two positive tests have raised concerns about the virus spreading within the building and forced officials to reckon with how best to protect the president and vice president.
Trump and Pence have gone from being tested weekly to being tested daily, and officials have said they will institute additional procedures in the coming days to further limit their exposure to the virus.
The White House has downplayed the immediacy of the threat within the building, but the positive tests have also highlighted the difficulty the administration faces in convincing Americans it is safe to start returning to work. Many states have started lifting their restrictions meant to slow the spread of the virus even as their respective infection numbers continue to increase.