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White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced Monday that she has tested positive for COVID-19, just a few days after President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and other GOP officials also tested positive.
“After testing negative consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms,” McEnany said in a statement posted to Twitter.
“With my positive test, I will begin the quarantine process and will continue working on behalf of the American people remotely,” she said, adding that she did not know that presidential adviser Hope Hicks’ “diagnosis prior to holding a White House press briefing” last week.
McEnany added that no members of the press have been cited by the White House Medical Unit as having been in close enough contact with her to be at risk.
In addition to McEnany and Hicks, Oval Office operations Nick Luna has tested positive for the virus along with Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien.
— Kayleigh McEnany 45 Archived (@PressSec45) October 5, 2020
She defended her decision last week to hold a press conference after Hicks tested positive.
“I definitively had no knowledge of Hope Hicks’ diagnosis prior to holding a White House press briefing on Thursday,” McEnany said, adding that “as an essential worker, I have worked diligently to provide needed information to the American people at this time.”
Last week, two GOP senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, also reported being infected by the virus.
It is believed that White House staff and the others may have contracted the disease at a Rose Garden ceremony late last month as President Trump announced he was nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
McEnany’s positive test comes as reports note President Trump is likely to be released from Walter Reed Medical Center where he’s been treated for the illness since Friday.
“Spoke to the president this morning,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows Monday. “He continued to improve overnight and is ready to get back to a normal working schedule.” He added that the president “will meet with his doctors and nurses this morning to make further assessments of his progress.”
“We are still optimistic that he will be able to return to the White House later today, with his medical professionals making that determination later today,” Meadows said, adding during an interview on “Fox & Friends” that “the earliest” Trump could be released is Monday afternoon.
As the White House awaits the return of the president, McEnany said on Sunday that the administration wouldn’t be releasing the names or the number of staffers who have contracted the virus, which appears to be at odds with an earlier comment by a different spokesperson.
For her part, McEnany cited patient confidentiality and other privacy concerns as the reason why their names would not be released.
“There are privacy concerns,” McEnany said. “We take seriously safeguarding the information of personnel here in the White House.”
Full quarantine of WH Press Corps immediately
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) October 5, 2020
Praying for you Kayleigh!!❤
— Judge Jeanine Pirro Fans (@JudgeJeaninefan) October 5, 2020
— Spector Hair Day (@SpectorHairDay) October 5, 2020
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