Vice President Mike Pence announced today during a Coronavirus Task Force press briefing that he and his wife, Karen Pence, will be tested for COVID-19 after a member of his staff tested positive for the virus.
According to CNBC, while Pence reportedly didn’t come in close contact with the individual who tested positive for the virus, he and his wife are exercising caution and have opted to get tested themselves.
“While the White House doctor has indicated that he has no reason to believe I that I was exposed and no need to be tested, given the unique position that I have as Vice President and the leader of the Coronavirus Task Force, both I and my wife will be tested for the coronavirus later this afternoon,” said Pence.
Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, released a statement explaining that the individual on the vice president’s staff had mild cold-like symptoms for just a day-and-a-half and hadn’t been in the White House since Monday. Neither Pence nor President Donald Trump were thought to have been in contact with the person.
“Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual,” Miller said. “Further contact tracing is being conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines.”
The individual is the first White House staffer to receive a positive diagnosis for the virus, which has spread rapidly across the U.S. in recent weeks.
Trump was tested for the virus last week after appearing at an event at Mar-a-Lago with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. A member of the Brazilian leader’s staff tested positive for the disease. Trump’s results came back negative.
Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, was also tested for the virus after she met with an Australian government official who tested positive for the virus, as The Inquisitr previously reported. According to a spokesperson, her diagnosis came back negative, but she is taking extra precautions and is working from home and practicing social distancing, as recommended by the CDC.
Since then, the White House has taken extra precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. Temperature checks are administered to anyone who comes in contact with the president or vice president, and the press room is sanitized and all journalists are tested prior to each press briefing.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the NIAID, has said that testing will be widely available to all Americans in the near future after weeks of shortages.