Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force, told CBS News Saturday he will start "modified quarantine" after he had a "low risk" contact with a White House staffer who tested positive for the virus. FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn will do a full quarantine after coming into contact with a different individual who tested positive for the novel coronavirus. CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield is planning to self-quarantine for two weeks after he was exposed to another person who tested positive.
Officials did not identify the person Redfield and Hahn came into contact with, reports CNN. However, their decision to quarantine came after Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary, tested positive. A White House valet also tested positive earlier this week. On Friday, Yahoo News obtained a Department of Homeland Security document revealing that 11 Secret Service members tested positive, while 23 members have recovered. No additional details about the members were available, including whether they were recently with Trump or Pence.
Fauci told CNN his "modified quarantine" includes staying at home for work and will wear a mask continually for two weeks. He said he would only go to his office at the National Institutes of Health if he is the only one there. He plans to be tested every day, and said he tested negative on Friday. If the White House or Congress calls him, he will go while following every precaution.
Fauci is planning to attend a Senate hearing next week while wearing a mask, Sen. Lamar Alexander's office told CNN. Redfield and Hahn will still testify, but via video conferencing. If Fauci decides to attend in the same format, changes will be made though.
Health officials told Politico that the recent exposure of the virus to White House aides should be a reminder that the coroanvirus is still spreading. "In the span of hours, the coronavirus task force was likely exposed, the vice president was definitely exposed, and a top health official can't come into the office," one senior official told the outlet. "It's a textbook case of why we can't rush to re-open."
As of Saturday night, there are 1.3 million coronavirus cases in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 78,700 deaths have been reported, while over 212,500 have recovered. More than 8.7 million tests have been administered in the U.S.