- The White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, announced on Monday that she tested positive for the novel coronavirus and said she was not experiencing symptoms.
- She added that according to the White House medical unit, she was not in close contact with any reporters, producers, or members of the press.
- McEnany also said that she “definitively had no knowledge” when she held a press briefing on Thursday that the White House counselor Hope Hicks had tested positive for COVID-19.
- But McEnany briefed reporters without wearing a mask on Friday and Saturday, after the public became aware that both Hicks and President Donald Trump had tested positive for the virus.
- McEnany is the latest person in Trump’s orbit to test positive; over the past several days, more than two dozen lawmakers, campaign officials, White House staff members, and reporters have gotten COVID-19 diagnoses.
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The White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, announced on Monday that she tested positive for COVID-19.
“After testing negative consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms,” she said in a statement. “No reporters, producers, or members of the press are listed as close contact by the White House Medical Unit. Moreover, I definitively had no knowledge of Hope Hicks’ diagnosis prior to holding a White House press briefing on Thursday.”
She continued: “As an essential worker, I have worked diligently to provide needed information to the American People at this time. With my recent positive test, I will begin the quarantine process and will continue working on behalf of the American People remotely.”
McEnany briefed the White House press corps on Thursday afternoon after Hicks, President Donald Trump’s close confidante and White House counselor, tested positive for the disease. McEnany did not wear a mask.
She also briefed reporters on Friday and Saturday, without wearing a mask, after the public became aware that both Hicks and Trump had tested positive for the virus.
Q: "Was [Trump] tested on Tuesday before he went to the debate and then was he tested on Thursday morning before he went to the NJ fundraiser?"
McEnany: "I'm not going to give you a detailed readout with timestamps of every time the president's tested — He's tested regularly." pic.twitter.com/B6bu6xVDls
— The Hill (@thehill) October 4, 2020
McEnany is the latest in Trump’s orbit to test positive for the coronavirus. The World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a pandemic in March, and the virus has infected over 7 million Americans and killed more than 209,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
In the past several days, more than two dozen lawmakers, campaign officials, reporters, and White House staff members have tested positive, including:
- First lady Melania Trump
- Republican Sen. Thom Tillis
- Republican Sen. Ron Johnson
- Republican Sen. Mike Lee
- Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
- Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
- Former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway
- Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien
- Notre Dame President John Jenkins
All the officials listed above attended a White House reception for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, on September 26.
The event has since been described as a potential “superspreader” event because of the number of people who tested positive for the virus after attending it. Few people at the reception practiced social distancing, and almost no one wore a mask.
Trump announced at about 1 a.m. ET on Friday that he and the first lady had tested positive for the coronavirus â€” hours after Bloomberg News reported that Hicks had tested positive.
The president told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday night that he was awaiting the results of a coronavirus test. But The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that when Trump spoke to Hannity, he didn’t disclose that he had already tested positive and was awaiting the results of a second test.
The president was flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre on Friday while experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 including a fever and a cough. The New York Times also reported â€” and Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, confirmed on Sunday â€” that Trump was given supplemental oxygen before being taken to the hospital.
Conley also said on Sunday that Trump had to be given another round of supplemental oxygen on Saturday. He did not disclose that information when briefing reporters that day. Trump, meanwhile, sparked major backlash on Sunday when he left Walter Reed in the presidential motorcade to drive by supporters and wave at them. He was with Secret Service agents in an SUV that was bulletproof and hermetically sealed, and Trump’s critics skewered him for putting Secret Service agents at risk for a political manoeuvre.
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