An infectious diseases expert told Fox News on Sunday that Vice President Mike Pence is still at “significant” risk of contracting the coronavirus.
The physician’s warning comes after reports that at least four of Pence’s aides, including the vice president’s chief of staff, Mark Short, have tested positive for COVID-19.
Dr. Amesh Adalja made an appearance on America’s News Headquarters, where he discussed the risk that Pence faces.
“The vice president is at very high risk for developing coronavirus,” Adalja said, according to Fox. “Him getting daily tests is only going to take the risk down a little bit. There probably is a need for him to self-quarantine for 14 days based on the amount of people around him that are positive.”
Adalja admitted that he doesn’t know all the details about the situation, including Pence’s interaction with these staff members. Still, Adalja said that Pence “likely was significantly exposed, and we know that a test is just one moment in time and that you can’t test yourself out of self-quarantine,” as Fox reported.
Adalja also said that it probably isn’t safe for Pence to continue campaigning.
What we know
While he may be at high risk of contracting the coronavirus, Pence is also one of the most tested people for the virus in America.
The latest test that was announced to the public, taken Sunday, showed that both Pence and his wife, Karen, were still negative for COVID-19. Accordingly, Pence has decided to continue adhering to his rigorous schedule, which includes both his duties as vice president and his fulfillment of 2020 campaign events.
“Vice President Pence and Mrs. Pence both tested negative for COVID-19 today, and remain in good health,” Pence spokesman Devin O’Malley said, as Reuters reported. “While Vice President Pence is considered a close contact with Mr. Short, in consultation with the White House Medical Unit, the vice president will maintain his schedule in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel.”
Following CDC guidelines
During an appearance on CNN on Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was questioned by host Jake Tapper about the circumstances.
According to The Hill, Meadows explained that Pence will skip self-isolation because he is an “essential worker.” Tapper tried to dispute this, causing Meadows to remind Tapper that Pence, as vice president, is doing much more than just campaigning for reelection.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines allow essential workers to continue working so long as they wear a mask, and Meadows assured Tapper that Pence is wearing a mask and socially distancing.