Vice-President Mike Pence has made the decision to distance himself from others for a few days, NBC News reported on Sunday. The decision comes after the announcement that his Press Secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for novel coronavirus on Friday.
The senior official told NBC News that the Vice-President will be taking a step back and limiting his contact with others for a few days because of his exposure to Miller before it was known she had the virus. However, the senior official stressed that Pence’s schedule hasn’t really changed and that he was not intending to follow strict self-isolation or quarantine procedures.
Pence’s spokesperson, Devin O’Malley, released a statement on Sunday explaining the decision, The Hill reported.
“Vice President Pence will continue to follow the advice of the White House Medical Unit and is not in quarantine. Additionally, Vice President Pence has tested negative every single day and plans to be at the White House tomorrow.”
According to The Hill, President Donald Trump and Vice-President Pence were being tested for novel coronavirus on a weekly basis. Now, they are being tested every day.
Miller is not the only White House staffer who has tested positive for the virus. A valet for President Trump, Ivanka Trump’s personal assistant, and several secret service members have tested positive recently.
I spoke with @wolfblitzer about why the news about Dr. Fauci's exposure to covid-19 may be the tip of the spear when it comes to WH exposure.— Sam Vinograd (@sam_vinograd) May 10, 2020
And based on the stakes - why wouldn't the WH take every precaution to protect its essential personnel? pic.twitter.com/qWX3uZ1Ipm
Three other members of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force have chosen to self-isolate or self-quarantine after being exposed to people who tested positive for the virus. Dr. Anthony Fauci — the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — announced on Saturday that he would be following “modified quarantine” procedures. Fauci is planning to work from home as much as possible for the next two weeks and only go into the office if no one else is there. He is planning to avoid going to the White House and Capitol Hill unless it’s absolutely necessary. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and CDC director Robert Redfield are both following strict self-quarantine procedures for the next two weeks.
According to The Hill, the numerous positive tests have caused concern about the novel coronavirus spreading within the White House. President Trump and Vice-President Pence have continually dismissed concerns about the spread of novel coronavirus in the White House. Both men have both been criticized for not wearing masks during public appearances, NBC News reported.
After the positive tests last week, officials have made it clear that the White House will be taking extra precautions, per The Hill.