UPDATE, 5/7/20, 3:46pm ET: President Donald Trump announced that, in light of his valet’s coronavirus diagnosis, he underwent testing on both May 6 and May 7. Trump tested negative for COVID-19 both times, according to CNN‘s Daniel Dale. Trump also said that the fact that the valet, who is tested weekly for COVID-19, has the virus “just shows you the fallacy — what I’ve been saying: testing is not a perfect art.” The president also remarked to White House reporters that “testing is somewhat overrated.”
ORIGINAL: A member of Donald Trump‘s US Navy, who serves as one of his personal valets, has tested positive for coronavirus, CNN reported on Thursday, May 7. Valets are members of an elite military unit assigned to the White House and often work closely with the President and first family. The news has clearly raised questions about whether or not the President, 73, has been in close contact with the unnamed member of his staff. HollywoodLife has reached out to the White House for comment.
The White House confirmed the news to CNN in the following statement: “We were recently notified by the White House Medical Unit that a member of the United States Military, who works on the White House campus, has tested positive for Coronavirus,” deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said in the statement. “The President and the Vice President have since tested negative for the virus and they remain in great health.”
Trump was upset when he learned about the news on Wednesday, May 6, a source told CNN. As a result, he was tested again — he previously tested negative for COVID-19 — by the White House physician. “The President and the Vice President have since tested negative for the virus and they remain in great health,” Gidley confirmed to the outlet.
If a person tests negative for COVID-19 by a viral test (a test that tells if a person has a current infection) that person was probably not infected at the time a sample was collected, according to the CDC, which states that a negative test result does not mean that a person will not get sick. It can sometimes take several days or 1-3 weeks for coronavirus to show up on a test once a person has been infected, the CDC states.
Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and the senior staffers who regularly work close them are being tested weekly for coronavirus, two people familiar with the situation told CNN. A separate White House source said the news about the unnamed military official, who tested positive for coronavirus, is “hitting the fan” in the West Wing.
Very few White House staffers have been seen wearing protective masks around the West Wing, according to NBC News. The outlet also reports that anyone who enters the White House grounds has their temperature checked.
This story is still developing. Please check back for timely updates.