Another White House official close to President Trump has tested positive for COVID, after testing negative consistently since Thursday. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany revealed that she tested positive early Monday morning, and will now begin the “quarantine process.”
“After testing negative consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms. No reporters, producers, or members of the press are listed as close contacts by the White House Medical Unit,” McEnany said in a statement.
Multiple prominent conservatives close to President Trump have tested positive for COVID, including Trump’s senior adviser Hope Hicks, Oval Office Operations Director Nick Luna, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, former counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Senator Mike Lee of Utah, and Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
In a statement, McEnany defended her decision to hold a press briefing last week, on the same day Hope Hicks tested positive. According to the White House Correspondents Association, several journalists have also tested positive for COVID.
“I definitively had no knowledge of Hope Hicks’ diagnosis prior to holding a White House press briefing on Thursday,” the Press Secretary said, adding that “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 added.
On Sunday, McEnany contradicted earlier reports by White House Director of Strategic Communications Alyssa Farah, who had said that the numbers and names of staffers infected with COVID would be released.
McEnany said that the names and exact number of infected White House staffers will not be released due to privacy concerns.
“There are privacy concerns. We take seriously safeguarding the information of personnel here in the White House,” McEnany said.
Meanwhile, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has announced that President Trump, who tested positive for COVID on Thursday, could be discharged from Walter Reed Medical Center as early as Monday afternoon.
“Spoke to the president this morning. He continued to improve overnight and is ready to get back to a normal working schedule,” Meadows said.
He added that President Trump “will meet with his doctors and nurses this morning to make further assessments of his progress.”
“We are still optimistic that he will be able to return to the White House later today, with his medical professionals making that determination later today,” Meadows said.