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A staffer in Vice President Pence’s office has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed Friday.
The case is the second confirmed case of COVID-19 among a member of the vice president’s staff. The news also comes a day after the White House disclosed that a U.S. military official working as President Trump’s valet had also tested positive for the coronavirus.
McEnany confirmed the case at a press briefing and said that the White House had put in place guidelines used to protect essential workers to keep those in the complex safe.
“We have put in place the guidelines that our experts have put forward to keep this building safe,” McEnany told reporters.
Pence is currently traveling to Des Moines, Iowa, to meet with faith leaders to discuss plans to reopen houses of worship, and later agricultural and food supply leaders to discuss steps being taken to secure the food supply during the pandemic.
Pence’s flight on Air Force Two was delayed roughly an hour Friday morning for an unknown reason and some staffers deplaned before the flight took off.
The White House has taken extra precautions to protect the president and vice president from contracting the disease, including regularly testing them for the virus and testing those who come in close contact with them. The White House has also instituted temperature checks for those entering the complex and regular deep cleaning of all work areas.
Trump said Thursday that he would be tested daily for COVID-19 after the valet tested positive. The president said he was not in regular contact with the person but called the situation “a little bit strange.” Both Trump and Pence tested negative after the new case was revealed.
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