The coronavirus is starting to hit close to home for members of the Trump administration.
Within the span of 48 hours, two key White House staffers have tested positive — including Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary.
News of Katie Miller’s diagnosis on Friday came on the heels of reports that a Navy valet working directly for President Donald Trump had received a positive test result.
“Wonderful young woman”
A third case involved a personal assistant working for Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, though that individual had reportedly been working from home for several weeks and had not come into recent contact with administration officials.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed Miller’s diagnosis and the president later offered some remarks on the development.
“We have put in place the guidelines our experts have put forward to keep this building safe,” McEnany said of White House safety measures.
Trump said he had not come into contact with Miller, describing her as a “wonderful young woman” who tested positive “out of the blue.”
The president was, however, in the same room as the valet just days before he was diagnosed with the virus.
Taking necessary precautions
Reports indicate Trump and Pence are undergoing daily tests and both remained virus-free as of the latest updates available.
After Miller’s test result came back on Friday, she was reportedly removed from active service. She had been scheduled to accompany Pence on a flight to Iowa the same day.
Given the recent close calls, some experts are recommending that Trump enter a period of self-quarantine. Dr. Cyrus Shahpar, a former official with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, advised a 14-day period of “staying home, no visitors, separating yourself from others, monitoring for symptoms, wearing a face-covering when you’re around others.”
The president, however, shows no signs of slowing down as he pursues a path toward reopening the economy from a lockdown that has left millions of Americans out of work.
Even with strict safeguards in place and frequent testing for those in Trump’s inner circle, this week’s developments show no one can be completely insulated from this highly communicable disease. That unfortunate reality will be an important factor to remember as the nation attempts to safely get back to work.