President Donald Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump have gone into quarantine after his top aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for coronavirus.
Hicks, who serves as counselor to the president and accompanied him to the presidential debate on Tuesday and to a Minnesota rally on Wednesday, tested positive on Thursday, according to an administration official who spoke with the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The White House did not confirm or deny the reports. Judd Deere, the White House spokesman, told the Guardian: “The president takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously.
“White House Operations collaborates with the Physician to the President and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidance and best practices for limiting Covid-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the President is traveling,” Deere added.
Hicks is the closest aide to Trump to test positive so far. She has traveled with the president multiple times this week, including aboard Marine One, the presidential helicopter, for a Minnesota rally Wednesday, and aboard Air Force One to Tuesday night’s first presidential debate.
Hicks previously served as White House communications director and rejoined the administration this year ahead of the election. Her positive test was first reported by Bloomberg News. Other news outlets, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, also confirmed the news on Thursday evening.
Multiple White House staffers have tested positive for the virus, including Katie Miller, Vice-President Mike Pence’s press secretary; the national security adviser, Robert O’Brien; and one of the president’s personal valets.
After earlier positive cases close to the president, the White House instituted a daily testing regimen for the president’s senior aides. Others who will be in close proximity to the president and vice-president, including reporters, are also tested every day.