The personal assistant of Ivanka Trump, US President Donald Trump’s daughter and senior White House adviser, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the media reported.
But the assistant, who worked in personal capacity for Ivanka Trump, has not been around the her for weeks, news agency reported on Friday.
The development came on the same day when Vice President Mike Pence’s spokesperson, Katie Miller, was confirmed to have been infected with the disease.
Amid concerns over the transmission of the contagious disease among senior administration officials, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at Friday’s briefing that measures were in effect to keep the virus from spreading among staff.
Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, also a senior advisers, have tested negative for the virus.
Donald Trump confirmed Friday that Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive. One of Donald Trump’s personal valets tested positive on Thursday.
The US currently accounts for the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world.
Earlier on Friday, Trump was asked in an interview whether those who serve him food would now cover their faces. “They’ve already started,” he said.
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The White House has also instituted daily, as opposed to weekly, coronavirus tests of Trump and Pence. Both men tested negative for the virus and were feeling well after the valet, a military service member who works as a White House assistant – came down with the virus.
Trump said, he has not yet been tested for antibodies to the coronavirus but probably would be soon. Such a test could confirm previous exposure.
Trump and Pence maintain busy public schedules. The vice president, who has led the coronavirus task force, flew to Iowa on Friday to meet with faith leaders about holding “responsible” gatherings and to discuss the food supply at Midwestern grocery chain Hy-Vee Inc’s headquarters.
News of the positive test for Pence’s aide prompted staff to deplane Air Force 2 on Friday morning and briefly delayed the takeoff.
“We went back and looked into all the person’s contacts most recently,” a senior official told reporters, according to a pool report. Six individuals who may have been in contact with the infected aide were removed from the flight and later tested negative. Two of the individuals were members of Pence’s press office.
Trump on Friday attended a public event at the World War Two memorial with elderly veterans where neither Trump, first lady Melania Trump, the veterans nor military officials seen at the ceremony wore masks.
As of Saturday, there were 1,283,929 cases in the country, while the death toll stood at 77,180, according to the Johns Hopkins University.