Hope Hicks, a White House aide who works closely with Donald Trump, has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. Bloomberg reported that she flew on Air Force One to and from the Trump campaign rally in Minnesota and to and from the debate on Tuesday with the president.
The outlet’s Jennifer Jacobs and Jordan Fabian were informed by sources inside the administration who asked to remain anonymous because Hicks has not publicly announced the situation. However, she is apparently showing symptoms of the disease.
Trump is regularly tested for the disease and there has been no indication that he has been infected, according to the report.
Spokesman Judd Deere released a statement about the situation, though he didn’t mention any individual by name.
“The president takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously,” he wrote. “White House Operations collaborates with the physician to the President and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidance and best practices for limiting Covid-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible, both on complex and when the president is traveling.”
Hicks and the rest of Trump’s team at the debate took off their masks when they entered the room and turned down offers from the event’s co-hosts for masks. She had also been seen in recent days riding in a van with senior adviser Stephen Miller and campaign adviser Jason Miller without wearing a mask.
Hicks isn’t the first person in Trump’s orbit to be diagnosed with the virus, but she is the closest so far in terms of their working relationship.
Others include National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and an unnamed staffer.
Trump has faced criticism for his handling of the coronavirus as he has seemingly chosen to downplay it and has often opted not to wear a mask in public. He has also held campaign rallies where people gather closer together than recommended and often fail to wear masks. While a majority of them have been held outdoors, two events in Nevada and Arizona were indoors.
He also mocked his opponent Joe Biden for choosing to wear a mask, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
“The development is likely to inflame criticism of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the president’s disregard for public health measures to combat it,” Bloomberg noted.
Aides are reportedly concerned that Trump’s grueling schedule as he heads into the final stretch of the election may make him more susceptible to contracting a disease.