Pence says he will be tested for coronavirus after his staffer tested positive

Associated Press/Andrew HarnikVice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence wave as they take the stage to speak to troops at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019.
  • Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday he and second lady Karen Pence would be tested for COVID-19 on Saturday afternoon.
  • Pence said the White House physician did not believe he had been exposed to the virus but will be tested due to his “unique position.”
  • A person who works in the office of the vice president tested positive for the virus, though he hadn’t been in the White House since Monday, Pence said.
  • Pence at the Saturday press conference discouraged Americans from getting tested if they do not show symptoms.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Vice President Mike Pence said on Saturday that he and his wife, second lady Karen Pence, will be tested for the novel coronavirus after a member of his staff tested positive for the virus.

As Business Insider previously reported, the office of the vice president announced on Friday night that a member of Pence’s staff tested positive for the virus.

“We learned of that late yesterday, I am pleased to report that he is doing well,” the vice president told reporters at a Saturday afternoon press conference. Pence said his staffer had “mild cold-like symptoms for about a day and a half.”

The vice president said the staffer had not been to the White House since Monday and that neither he nor President Donald Trump had direct contact with the staffer. Pence said he worked with the White House physicians and the Centres for Disease Control to determine the correct path forward.

The White House physician, according to Pence, said there was no reason to believe the vice president had been exposed to COVID-19. Still, Pence said he and the second lady would be tested for the coronavirus “later this afternoon” given his “unique position” as both the vice president and the head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Vice President said more than 195,000 people have been tested for the novel coronavirus in the US. He urged people who were not symptomatic to avoid seeking out a test for COVID-19.

“We want to remind Americans as Dr. Fauci will emphasise in a moment: if you don’t have symptoms don’t do a test,” Pence said. “It is another way that the American people can make sure that we are preserving the resources that our healthcare workers need to minister and support those who are dealing with the coronavirus and other illnesses.”

President Trump last week said he tested negative for COVID-19.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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