Republican National Committee (RNC) chairperson Ronna McDaniel tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday after a family member tested positive, an RNC spokesperson told the Daily Caller Friday.
McDaniel was with President Donald Trump last Friday and has been at her home in Michigan since Saturday, the spokesperson said. She is experiencing mild symptoms from the virus, according to a tweet by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.
BREAKING – Ronna McDaniel, the RNC chairwoman, tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday, multiple sources say. She has mild symptoms. She was last with POTUS last Friday and has been in Michigan since then.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) October 2, 2020
McDaniel didn’t mention coronavirus test in interview
McDaniel didn’t mention that she had tested positive for the coronavirus until after both Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced that they had tested positive for the virus early Friday morning. She appeared on Fox News Thursday virtually to argue against the Commission on Presidential Debates changing the rules for future debates, but didn’t mention her positive coronavirus test at that time.
Others who have had recent close contact with Trump announced positive tests on Friday and Saturday, including Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Ron Johnson (R-WI), campaign manager Bill Stepien, Trump aide Hope Hicks, former adviser Kellyanne Conway, and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie.
Christie, who has asthma, said Saturday that he would be checking in to a hospital as a “precautionary measure.”
Three reporters in the White House pool have also tested positive for the virus. The reporters may have flown on Air Force One with Trump, but that was not confirmed Friday.
Others have tested negative, including Vice President Mike Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, and Trump family members Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and Barron Trump.
Positive tests raise questions
The slew of positive tests among those in close contact with Trump has raised many questions. Democrats have not been kind to the Republicans, many of whom have not worn masks consistently or observed strict social distancing. According to Yahoo, however, Hicks did wear a mask at all times, and White House reporters were supposed to have done so.
Others have wondered whether the positive tests would impact the upcoming election, delay the next presidential debate, or delay a confirmation vote on Barrett scheduled for later in October. Most concerning is Trump’s inability to hold rallies pr campaign in person for at least 10 days during a critical time before the election.
The illness could engender sympathy for the president and other Republicans, however, particularly from those who have resumed normal activities in many parts of the country and don’t fault Trump and others for doing the same.
So far, no one who has tested positive this week from Trump’s circle has become severely ill from the virus. Most are quarantining at home, including McDaniel, and Trump is in Walter Reed Hospital as a precaution, with mild symptoms and a fever.