The US Vice-President's top aide was tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday, May 8, just a day after the US President's valet tested positive for the disease. President Donald Trump confirmed that the Vice-President's press secretary had tested positive. The White House has been testing the President and Vice-President daily for the coronavirus.
In a meeting with the Republicans in the White House Trump said that one of the top staffers in Pence's team had tested positive and said that the "wonderful woman Katie" had been testing for some time and was tested positive on Friday.
Katie Miller is also the wife of Stephan Miller, who is one of the senior advisers to President Trump. She is the second White House official to test positive for the coronavirus in the span of two days.
During the meeting, the President was also asked about the possibility of an outbreak inside the White House. Trump replied that the White House is taking all the precaution it can during the pandemic.
Miller confirms the news
Later Miller confirmed the news to NBC News on Friday. Miller told the news channel that she was asymptomatic and that she had tested negative a day before she was tested positive. She was reported to be in the White House on the day she tested positive for the coronavirus, said an official from the White House to NBC. The official also said that Miller showed signs while she was there.
In a statement, the White House spokesman Judd Deere said that Trump's staff and physician "continue to work closely to ensure every precaution is taken to keep the President, First Family and the entire White House Complex safe and healthy at all times."
Pence was supposed to travel to Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday morning and was delayed due to the news of the staffer testing positive for the coronavirus. The reporters who were travelling with Pence reported that some of the staffers disembarked the flight just before take-off. The White House is focusing on the contact tracing of the person tested positive for the coronavirus. The people who disembarked had been in contact with Katie Miller.
On Thursday, May 7, one of Trump's close valets had also tested positive for the coronavirus.
Despite all this, and a recommendation from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the US President and the Vice-President have refused to wear masks. Even though a person from the close circle tested positive, the President did not wear a mask at an event to mark the anniversary of VE Day.
Pence has also been widely criticised for not wearing a mask during various events including his visit to the Mayo Clinic.