Mike Pence aide tests positive for coronavirus

An aide to Vice President Mike Pence has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Pence, point person for the White House response to COVID-19, did not work closely with the person, his press secretary Katie Miller said Friday night.

“‪This evening we were notified that a member of the Office of the Vice President tested positive for the Coronavirus,” Miller said in a statement. “Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual.”

Miller added: “Further contact tracing is being conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines.”

Although businesses around the country established work-from-home policies, most workers in the White House and Eisenhower Executive Office Building still do their work in-person. It’s unclear where exactly the individual’s office was located, or if other staff members will undergo self-quarantine.

Trump’s outgoing White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney currently is in self-quarantine and the president’s Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham worked from home this week after a visit by infected Brazilian officials to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Trump’s incoming chief of staff Mark Meadows and other congressmen with whom Trump interacted self-quarantined after being exposed to the virus at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Trump tested negative for the virus, the White House said Saturday. His daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump tested negative Friday.

The number of coronavirus cases in the US approached 20,000 on Friday as a rollout of testing reveals the virus spread widely after emerging in China in late December. New York has the nation’s worst outbreak, with about 8,000 diagnosed cases.

Disclosure of the Pence aide’s diagnosis follows another dive for the stock market, which has lost a third of its value in one month as local governments order businesses closed. Senators are working late into the night Friday to finalize a more than $1 trillion economic stimulus package.

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