Hours after a report said Vice President Mike Pence was self-isolating after his press secretary tested positive for the coronavirus, his office announced he is not planning to enter self-quarantine and that he plans to be at the White House on Monday. Pence spokesperson Devin O'Malley said the vice president "will continue to follow the advice of the White House Medical Unit and is not in quarantine. Additionally, Vice President Pence has tested negative every single day and plans to be at the White House tomorrow."
The announcement comes as the White House continues to urge governors to begin reopening states even as the virus has begun appearing in the White House with news that top members of the coronavirus task force will self-quarantine, in some form, after coming in contact with an individual who tested positive for the virus. An official told CNN there is extreme sensitivity inside the White House at the current state of affairs with officials recognizing the contradiction in telling states to reopen while the White House enhances protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. That official also said Pence's schedule will likely be on the lighter side in the coming days, but that he's not doing a full self-quarantine.
President Donald Trump confirmed Friday that Pence's press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for COVID-19. He said that Miller has not come into contact with him but noted that she has been in contact with Pence. "She's a wonderful young woman, Katie, she tested very good for a long period of time and then all of a sudden today she tested positive," Trump said during a meeting with Republican members of Congress at the White House.
Miller's husband, Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller, is not expected to go to the White House for the immediate future, people familiar with his plans told The New York Times. He tested negative for the virus on Friday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House's coronavirus task force, told CNN Saturday he will begin a "modified quarantine" after making a "low risk" contact with the White House staffer who tested positive for the virus.
There were nearly 80,000 deaths and more than 1.3 million confirmed coronaries cases in the U.S. early Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Worldwide, the virus has killed more than 282,000 people and surpassed 4.1 million infections.