The White House COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread, now with at least five aids from the VP Mike Pence office test positive for the coronavirus.
Pence has been identified as a close contact of one of those who tested positive. This is not the first that the VP has been around people who tested positive later on. The Rose Garden event was one of the controversial White House events that resulted in quite a number of political figures affected by COVID-19.
More COVID-19 positive results expected?
Per CNN at least five of Pence’s staff have tested positive. However, the only names made known are:
- The VP’s chief of staff Marc Short
- Close aid Zach Bauer – serves as Pence’s “body man”
- Outside adviser Marty Obst
Although, Obst’s COVID-19 positive announcement did not come from the White House Medical Unit, compared to Short’s. Instead, the news came from a press aide.
The New York Times says, “[t]wo people briefed on the matter said that the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, had sought to keep news of the outbreak from becoming public.”
JUST IN: Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, has been diagnosed with Covid-19, the Vice President's office announced in a statement. He is the second top Pence aide to test positive this week https://t.co/Pl0XlJ0J92 pic.twitter.com/xXnsk3psWi
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 25, 2020
Moreover, CNN’s source says Bauer went home to quarantine after being identified as a closed contact of Obst. He has not reportedly been in office since Tuesday and his results came out on Saturday.
Accordingly, the news outlet notes that concerns are heavy—afraid of more positive results might emerge in the coming days. The source reveals that the VP’s staffers are scared.
In relation to the non-transparency on the identities of the other aides that tested positive, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows says “[s]haring personal information is not something that we should do.”
Mike Pence refusing to quarantine
Meanwhile, the White House confirms that VP Pence and his wife, Karen, have tested negative on Sunday.
As observed, if someone is in close contact with another who tested positive for coronavirus, precautionary measures are put in place. One of which is to quarantine.
However, reports have it that the head of the White House’s coronavirus task force, the VP himself, will forgo with the CDC-mandated quarantine protocol.
Vice President Mike Pence, the head of the coronavirus task force, now has an outbreak in his own office. And despite having been in close contact with at least one aide who tested positive, he is not adhering to CDC guidelines and instead plans to campaign tomorrow in NC.
— Matt Viser (@mviser) October 25, 2020
That said, he plans to continue on with his travel and campaign plans as they enter into the final stretch of the U.S. elections.
It should be noted as well that President Donald Trump cut his quarantine period short, after testing positive for COVID-19. He only stayed in Walter Reeds for three days before going back to the White House, still COVID-19 positive.
Featured image courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Flickr