Just hours after the White House confirmed one of Vice President Mike Pence's staffers tested positive for the coronavirus, the vice president's press secretary confirmed both Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence tested negative. Pence, who is leading President Donald Trump's response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, stood by the president and other officials during a press conference Saturday morning. Pence said the staffer was "doing well" and had "mild" cold-like symptoms.
"Pleased to report that the COVID-19 test results came back negative for both Vice President [Pence] and Second Lady [Karen Pence]," Katie Miller, the vice president's press secretary, wrote on Twitter. The statement came just a few hours after Pence said Saturday he and Karen Pence would be tested.
"Given the unique position that I have as vice president and as the leader of the White House coronavirus task force, both I and my wife will be tested for the coronavirus later this afternoon," Pence said.
On Friday, Pence's office said a staffer tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Pence said the staffer was felling "well" and felt "mild" cold-like symptoms for a day and a half, reports CNN. The staffer has not been at the White House since Monday, and did not have direct contact with Trump or Pence.
"Neither the president nor I had direct contact with that staff person," Pence said Saturday. "We worked immediately with a White House physician and the CDC, we did all contact tracing, and while the White House doctor has indicated that he has no reason to believe that I was exposed, and no need to be tested, given the unique position that I have as vice president and as leader of the coronavirus task force, both I and my wife will be tested for the coronavirus later this afternoon."
"This evening we were notified that a member of the Office of the Vice President tested positive for the Coronavirus. Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual," Miller said Friday. "Further contact tracing is being conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines."
The White House announced last weekend Trump himself tested negative for coronavirus. Ivanka Trump, Trump's daughter and senior advisor, also tested negative for the virus.
Testing is still a slow process for most Americans. During Saturday's press conference, Pence said just over 195,000 Americans had been tested for the coronavirus, although that number does not include county hospitals or health care labs. Only 19,343 tests were positive, Pence said at the time.0comments
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