White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced that she tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday morning and will begin the “quarantine process”. She will become the newest person in President Trump’s orbit to get the virus.
“After testing negative results regularly, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning with no symptoms,” McEnany said in a statement. “No reporters, producers, or media representatives are listed as close contacts by the White House medical department.”
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Other White House employees who tested positive for COVID-1
Former Presidential Advisor Kellyanne Conway also tested positive and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who recently helped prepare the President’s debate, and was hospitalized over the weekend.
In her statement, McEnany defended her decision to hold a press conference last week on the same day that Hicks tested positive. The White House Correspondents Association said several journalists had also tested positive.
“I was definitely not aware of Hope Hicks’ diagnosis before I held a press conference at the White House on Thursday,” McEnany said, adding, “As an essential worker, I have been diligently working to provide the American people with the information they need at this point to deliver.” ”
McEnany added, “With my recent positive test, I will begin the quarantine process and continue to work remotely on behalf of the American people.”
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McEnany’s positive COVID-19 test comes as Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Trump could be discharged from Walter Reed Military Medical Center, where he has been treated for the novel coronavirus since Friday, and return to the White House as early as Monday afternoon.
“I spoke to the President this morning,” Meadows said. “He has continued to improve overnight and is ready to go back to a normal work schedule.”
He added that the president “will meet with his doctors and nurses this morning to make further assessments of his progress.”
Meadows added, “We are still optimistic that he can return to the White House later today and his medics will make that decision later today.”
Meadows said during an interview on Fox & Friends that the White House would learn of the president’s possible release by “earliest” Monday afternoon.
While White House staff await the president’s return, McEnany said Sunday that the White House will not release the names or the exact number of staff who have contracted the novel coronavirus – a look back at an earlier comment by one other spokeswoman.
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McEnany attributed the decision to privacy concerns. Earlier, Alyssa Farah, the White House’s director of strategic communications, had said the number of employees infected might come out.
“There are privacy concerns,” said McEnany. “We take it seriously to protect the information of the staff here at the White House.”
President and first lady Melania Trump announced that they tested positive for COVID-19 just before 1:00 a.m. early Friday after it was revealed that Hicks tested positive on Thursday.