- Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, has COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
- President Donald Trump on Friday said a “press person” named Katie had tested positive.
- Miller is also the wife of a top adviser to the president, Stephen Miller. She confirmed to NBC News that she had tested positive for COVID-19, adding that she was asymptomatic.
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Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Miller is the wife of Stephen Miller, President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and primary speechwriter. Her positive diagnosis raises the possibility that people close to the president have been exposed to the virus.
After the White House said a staffer on Pence’s team had tested positive, Trump said it was a “press person” named Katie. Politico also reported that Katie Miller was the staffer who had tested positive.
“She’s a wonderful young woman, Katie,” Trump said. “She tested very good for a long period of time, and then all of a sudden today she tested positive.
“She hasn’t come into contact with me. She’s spent some time with the vice president,” Trump added.
“This is why the whole concept of tests aren’t necessarily great,” the president said. “The tests are perfect, but something can happen between a test where it’s good and then something happens, and all of a sudden she was tested very recently and tested negative, and then today I guess for some reason she tested positive.”
Trump said Pence “knows about it” and “has done what he has to do,” adding that Pence’s test for the virus had come back negative.
President Trump discusses Katie Miller, the press secretary for Vice President Pence, testing positive today for coronavirus. Trump says she hasn't come into contact with him, and that Pence has tested negative https://t.co/9T8aUPjUrs pic.twitter.com/xnV8qIOjbl
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 8, 2020
Katie Miller later confirmed to NBC News that she had tested positive, adding that she was asymptomatic.
The White House did not offer a comment when contacted by Insider.
At least two Trump administration staffers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19.
“We have put in place the guidelines that our experts have put forward to keep this building safe,” the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said during a press briefing on Friday.
“We clean the facility. We social distance. We keep people 6 feet away from each other,” McEnany added.
On Thursday, the White House confirmed that a member of the US Navy who’s one of Trump’s personal valets had also contracted the virus. CNN reported that it upset the president, and it has raised questions about his potential exposure to COVID-19.
“The President and the Vice President have since tested negative for the virus and they remain in great health,” Hogan Gidley, a deputy White House press secretary, told CNN in a statement.
Trump and Pence have undergone weekly rapid-result testing for the novel coronavirus. The president said on Thursday that he would now take daily tests.
Asked why Trump chose not to wear a mask during a visit on Friday with World War II veterans, most of whom are in their 90s,McEnany told reporters: “This president is regularly tested. This president will make the decision as to whether to wear a mask or not.
“I can tell you that those veterans are protected. They made the choice to come here because they have chosen to put their nation first,” she said, adding, “I can tell you that the president always puts the safety of our veterans first and of the American people first.”
She said that the White House had “taken every single precaution to protect the president” and that she “can assure the American people that their commander-in-chief is protected.”
Last week, Pence flouted instructions to wear a face mask during a visit to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. The decision was widely criticised, prompting Pence to acknowledge on Fox News on Sunday that he made a mistake.
“I don’t think it was necessary, but I should have worn a mask at the Mayo Clinic,” Pence said.