Ben Carson has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a White House election party. According to Business Insider, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development attended the same event that White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, also attended. Meadows was previously reported to have also contracted the virus.
ABC News' Katherine Faulders was the first to report that Carson tested positive for coronavirus. "His deputy chief of staff says he's 'in good spirits & feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery,'" Faulders wrote in a tweet on Monday. "Carson attended the election night party at the White House." She later shared a report from Jennifer Jacobs, Senior White House reporter for Bloomberg News, who stated that many other Trump Administraiton officials were present at the same event as Carson and Meadows. "Ben Carson, who has coronavirus, was at the White House for the election night watch party on Tuesday, along with other members of the Trump cabinet, including Bill Barr, Steve Mnuchin, Alex Azar, David Bernhardt, etc," Jacobs shared.
Sec. Carson received a positive test this morning at Walter Reed after experiencing symptoms. (He is no longer at the hospital - was only there for a short time) https://t.co/fMAYoP3MUe— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) November 9, 2020
Business Insider noted that the event "featured little social distancing and almost no masks," and that a number of White House staff have tested positive for the virus in the wake of the party. According to the L.A. Times, many White House and campaign officials, as well as others who attended the election night event, were not notified by the White House of the diagnoses. They found out along with the rest of the nation when news outlets began reporting on them.
Additionally, PBS News reporter Yamiche Alcindor has stated that she spoke with a number of aides on election night "who were worried the event would become a super spreader and felt pressured to go to save face." At this time, it is reported that six White House aides and a Trump campaign staffer have tested positive for the virus, in addition to Carson and Meadows.
The new report comes roughly two weeks after Meadows appeared on State of the Union with Jake Tapper and very aggressively stated that the Trump administration had no plans of trying "to control the pandemic." He added, "We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas."