The White House has confirmed that a member of the U.S. Navy who serves as one of President Donald Trump's personal valets has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The valet, who has not been identified, had exhibited "symptoms" Wednesday morning, according to White House source. The White House confirmed Thursday morning that the valet had tested positive, though his condition was not made available. As a result, both the president and Vice President Mike Pence have again been tested for COVID-19.
"We were recently notified by the White House Medical Unit that a member of the United States Military, who works on the White House campus, has tested positive for Coronavirus," deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement to CNN. "The President and the Vice President have since tested negative for the virus and they remain in great health."
CNN reports that valets "are members of an elite military unit dedicated to the White House" and typically work closely with the president and first family. According to a White House source, the valet's positive test immediately raised concerns about the president’s possible exposure and news that someone close to Trump had tested positive was "hitting the fan" in the West Wing. The president himself was reportedly upset after learning of the test results and was tested again by the White House physician. It is unclear if any other people close to the president other than Pence were also tested, though Trump, the vice president, senior staffers, and those who regularly interact with them are tested weekly for the coronavirus using the Abbott Lab tests, which provide results in as little as 15 minutes.
This is not the first time that the president has come in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. In early March, Trump had met with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his press secretary at Mar-a-Lago, the latter having tested positive for the virus. Although the president was initially reluctant to be tested, he later revealed that he had been administered a test. The White House confirmed later that month that he had tested negative.
At this time, nobody else in close proximity to the president has tested positive. Both Ivanka Trump, who had been working from home after coming into contact with someone who tested positive, and Vice President Mike Pence were confirmed to have tested negative in March. Later that month, the White House confirmed that First Lady Melania Trump had also tested negative.