Pence To Keep Up Campaign Travel; Members Of Staff Have Contracted Virus


Vice President Mike Pence will continue to hold campaign events as an outbreak of COVID-19 has occurred among top aides in his office, the White House said Sunday.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday that Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, and “a couple of key staff surrounding the vice president” have tested positive for COVID-19.

But the vice president and his wife Karen both tested negative on Sunday, his office said, adding that he will not quarantine.

“As has been routine for months, Vice President Pence is tested for COVID-19 every day,” the vice president’s press secretary Devin O’Malley tweeted. “This morning, Vice President Pence and the Second Lady tested negative for COVID-19. Vice President Pence remains in good health and wishes the Trumps well in their recovery.”

O’Malley said Pence decided he can continue his schedule “in consultation with the White House Medical Unit” and “in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel.”

CNN, citing “a source,” reported “at least five people” in Pence’s orbit have tested positive for coronavirus in recent days.

During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Meadows would not divulge the extent of the COVID-19 outbreak in Pence’s office.

“Sharing personal information is not something that we should do,” Meadows told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Pence on Saturday traveled to Florida for campaign rallies in Lakeland and Tallahassee. With fewer than 10 days to go before Election Day, his pace is expected to mirror that of President Trump, who is holding multiple rallies per day.

Early Sunday, Trump commented on Short after Air Force One landed at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington. “I did hear about it just now,” he said. “And I think he’s quarantining. Yeah. I did hear about it. He’s going to be fine. But he’s quarantining.”

Short’s diagnosis comes weeks after the coronavirus spread through the White House, infecting Trump, the first lady and up two dozen other aides and staffers.

Trump, 74, tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 1 and was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center the next day as a precaution.

Doctors treating Trump said that the president received supplemental oxygen on after his blood-oxygen level dropped suddenly, raising alarm. The president had a “high fever” on his first two days at Walter Reed, but the next day his blood oxygen level stood at 98%, Trump’s medical team said.

Three days after his diagnosis, Trump was cleared to return home. “This morning the President’s team of physicians met with him in the Residence. He had a restful first night at home, and today he reports no symptoms,” White House physician Sean Conley wrote in a memorandum. “Vital signs and physical exam remain stable, with an ambulatory oxygen saturation level of 95-97%. Overall he continues to do extremely well. I will provide updates as we know more,” Conley wrote.

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