White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has tested positive for coronavirus, according to multiple U.S. media reports Friday night.
Meadows, who is one of U.S. President Donald Trump’s top aides, tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, a senior administration official confirmed to the New York Times. The Associated Press and Bloomberg News also confirmed the diagnosis, citing senior administration officials.
The officials, who requested anonymity, did not provide details on when Meadows first came down with the virus or his current condition. Bloomberg reported Meadows told “a close circle of advisors” after Tuesday’s election that he had tested positive.
Meadows travelled with Trump in the run-up to Election Day and last appeared in public early Wednesday morning without a mask as Trump falsely declared victory in the vote count.
CNN reported that officials had promised all attendees at Trump’s address that morning, which also included members of Trump’s family and other top aides, would be tested before entering the room. Hardly anyone wore masks at the event.
Meadows had been one of the close aides around Trump when the president came down with the virus more than a month ago, but was tested daily and maintained his regular work schedule.
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Bloomberg and the New York Times also said a second, unnamed White House aide tested positive this week.
It marked the latest case of the virus in the West Wing, coming not even two weeks after Marc Short, Vice-President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, and other aides tests positive for the virus.
At least two dozen others at the White House along with Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the virus in early October, after Trump held large gatherings of people not wearing face-masks, including the ceremony announcing the nomination of now-Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
Trump has repeatedly said that the nation is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic, which was top of mind for voters in Tuesday’s election.
Meadows’ diagnosis came the same day as the U.S. set a new record for daily coronavirus cases with over 120,000 — the third day in a row that the country has broken records — and over 1,100 people died from the virus.
Last month, Meadows told CNN that the Trump administration is “not going to control the pandemic” by limiting its spread and driving down infection rates, instead focusing on vaccines and theraputics.
—With files from the Associated Press
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