(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany is the latest White House staffer to test 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,” McEnany tweeted late Monday morning, in part.
“As an essential worker, I have worked diligently to provide needed information to the American People at this time,” the tweet declares. “With my recent positive test, I will begin the quarantine process and will continue working on behalf of the American People remotely.”
The news comes as President Trump spent his third night in Walter Reed Medical Center Sunday for treatment of COVID-19, after revealing last Friday that he’d tested positive. First lady Melania Trump also tested positive.
In addition to McEnany, two other press office staffers, Chad Gilmartin and assistant press secretary Karoline Leavitt, have both tested positive, sources told ABC News.
McEnany was speaking with reporters Sunday evening — without a mask on — following an appearance on FOX News at the White House. As McEnany approached reporters Sunday evening, she removed her mask before taking three questions.
Despite the recent interactions with reporters, McEnany’s tweet says that “no reporters, producers, or members of the press are listed as close contacts by the White House Medical Unit.”
McEnany also held a briefing with reporters indoors on Thursday, prior to the president’s trip to New Jersey. She was one of four aides pulled from the Bedminster trip because of her exposure to presidential advisor Hope Hicks, who tested positive on Wednesday, but did not strictly quarantine. McEnany said she had tested negative that day. McEnany also spoke with reporters Friday without wearing a mask, wearing one as she approached reporters but then removing it before speaking with them.
The September 26 White House gathering to introduce Amy Coney Barrett as Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is now regarded as a superspreader event. That gathering was attended by dozens of people, few of whom wore masks and at which social distancing wasn’t practiced. Numerous attendees already having tested COVID-19 positive.
The White House says it’s following CDC guidelines on contact tracing but would not say how many other staffers have been diagnosed, citing “privacy concerns.”
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