VP Mike Pence’s spokesperson, Katie Miller, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the White House.The news comes the day after a valet working for President Trump was revealed to have the coronavirus.
UPDATE, 5/8/20, 4:01pm ET: Katie Miller confirmed that she is the staffer who tested positive for COVID-19, telling NBC News that she is asymptomatic.
UPDATE, 5/8/20, 3:00pm ET: President Trump confirmed that the Pence staffer who tested positive for COVID-19 is the vice president’s spokesperson, Katie Miller. Katie is married to White House senior advisor Stephen Miller, who works closely with both Trump and Pence.
ORIGINAL: A staffer who works for Vice President Mike Pence has tested positive for COVID-19, one day after it was announced that President Donald Trump‘s personal valet also contracted the deadly virus. Pence, 60, was en route to Des Moines, Iowa on Air Force Two when his team learned of the diagnosis. His plane was delayed for one hour at Joint Base Andrews near DC, according to CNN. Thought the sick staffer wasn’t on the flight, there was concern that other members of his staff could have been in contact with the individual. Pence’s flight was allowed to take off after some people were deplaned. The Vice President, who heads the White House’s coronavirus task force, is participating in a discussion with local faith leaders on responsible religious and spiritual gatherings amid the pandemic, according to his office. Pence has not commented on his staffer’s diagnosis at this time.
The staffer’s condition furthers questions about the president and vice president’s health during the pandemic. Pence was criticized for visiting COVID-19 patients at the Mayo Clinic on on April 28 without wearing a mask. He argued that he is tested weekly for the virus, and is negative every time, and therefore doesn’t need to wear protective gear. The coronavirus task force’s reasoning directly contradicts with the CDC’s recommendation that all individuals, no matter their health status, wear protective gear and social distance in public in order to curb the spread of the disease. As of May 8, nearly 1,300,000 Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, and over 77,000 have died with the virus, far exceeding the American death toll of the Vietnam War.
Trump, who also routinely gets tested for COVID-19, stated that he had been tested on both May 6 and 7 in light of his valet’s diagnosis. Valets are members of an elite military unite assigned to the White House who work closely with the First Family. Trump said he doesn’t believe he has interacted with the particular valet, though. He also told White House reporters that “testing is somewhat overrated” so…