All of the Known Coronavirus Cases in Trump’s Orbit

Two White House staffers tested positive last week, increasing worries about a Covid-19 outbreak at the White House

Andrea González-Ramírez
GEN
Published in
4 min readMay 12, 2020

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President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in the Oval Office on May 7, 2020. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

President Donald Trump, antsy over the lack of rallies and other coronavirus movement restrictions, traveled to Arizona last Tuesday as part of his push to reopen the country and argue the coronavirus pandemic is under control. Days later, the pandemic was at his doorstep. The president’s personal valet and the vice president’s press secretary tested positive for the virus on Thursday and Friday, the White House announced. Now three of the nation’s top health officials on the Coronavirus Task Force have begun forms of self-quarantine among growing concerns of a possible outbreak within the White House.

“It is scary to go to work,” Trump economic adviser Kevin Hassett told Face the Nation on Sunday. “I think that I’d be a lot safer if I was sitting at home than I would be going to the West Wing. It’s a small, crowded place. But, you know, it’s the time when people have to step up and serve their country.”

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have been exposed to people who later tested positive for the coronavirus multiple times since the outbreak exploded in March, both at Mar-a-Lago and at the White House. Yet both leaders have eschewed wearing masks in public and following the very social distancing guidelines the government asked the rest of the country to undertake. Meanwhile, Trump and Pence have been getting weekly rapid-answer coronavirus tests, as have any staffers who interacted with them, and members of the press have been subjected to fever checks since March. Neither Trump or Pence have announced plans to self-isolate following the most recent possible exposures, though testing of those staffers who come in contact with the president has been increased from weekly to daily, and all West Wing staff have been instructed to wear masks in the building except when at their desks.

The recent possible exposures add to the growing list of people in Trump and Pence’s orbit who’ve tested positive for Covid-19 over the past few months, showing just how difficult it is to keep those parts of society that were not shut down safe from the highly contagious virus

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Andrea González-Ramírez
GEN
Writer for

Award-winning Puerto Rican journalist. Senior Writer at New York Magazine’s The Cut. Formerly GEN, Refinery29, and more. Read my work: https://www.thecut.com/