After two of its staffers tested positive for coronavirus in recent days, the White House is scrambling to bolster its own safety procedures, The Washington Post reported on Monday.
This comes even as President Donald Trump encourages the country to reopen for business.
The worry about a potential West Wing outbreak illustrates the very reason public health officials recommend that people wear masks in public and remain home if they have been exposed, because anyone can be an asymptomatic carrier of the disease.
A case in point is Vice President Mike Pence’s spokeswoman Katie Miller, who tested negative as recently as the day before and was near other aides as she attended Friday's senior staff meeting on the coronavirus.
Miller, who like other members of the White House staff does not regularly wear a mask at work, was also not covering her face the day before when briefing reporters outside a nursing home in Arlington, Virginia, where Pence was to distribute personal protective equipment, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
Miller even coughed at one point, then joked that she didn’t have the coronavirus.
Potentially exposed White House officials are not all self-isolating, as shown by Pence’s statement over the weekend that he would be returning to work immediately, as he has tested negative every day, The New York Times reported.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden wrote in a Monday op-ed in The Washington Post that “If Trump and his team understand how critical testing is to their safety - and they seem to, given their own behavior [by receiving testing on a daily basis]- why are they insisting that it's unnecessary for the American people?”
Brian Freeman ✉
Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.
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