Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and two other top scientific members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force have entered self-quarantines after coming into contact with or being near someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The other two officials who have entered self-quarantine are Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.
“The actions come after the disclosure on Friday that Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for the virus,” The New York Times reported. “Ms. Miller has attended numerous meetings of the White House’s coronavirus task force, which also includes Dr. Redfield, Dr. Hahn and Dr. Fauci.”
The news also comes after the White House said this week that a military aide, who was described as a valet for President Donald Trump, also tested positive for the coronavirus.
“The president’s physician and White House operations continue to work closely to ensure every precaution is taken to keep the president, first family and the entire White House complex safe and healthy at all times,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said. “In addition to social distancing, daily temperature checks and symptom histories, hand sanitizer, and regular deep cleaning of all work spaces, every staff member in proximity to the president and vice president is being tested daily for covid-19 as well as any guests.”
“The Secret Service has 11 active cases of the coronavirus and 23 employees who have recovered, current and former government officials said Friday, but it was unclear whether any were agents or served in the White House,” The New York Times said in a separate report. “The service, which has 150 offices across the country responsible for protecting a variety of dignitaries and investigating financial crimes, also has 60 others undergoing self-quarantine.”
A White House memo reportedly said that the White House will receive “heightened levels of daily cleaning” during this time and that anyone who leaves the Washington, D.C., area must quarantine themselves for two weeks.
The news comes as states across the U.S. are slowly starting reopen after being shutdown in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in Wuhan, China.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced on Thursday that Republican members of Congress had launched a “China Task Force” to address a wide variety of threats posed by communist China.
McCarthy highlighted some of China’s actions during the pandemic:
- Hid the severity of the virus and manipulated statistics, leaving the world reeling from a global pandemic
- Still refuses to allow international experts to investigate or share viral samples with the scientific community
- Forced the disappearance of whistleblowers
- Is carrying out a comprehensive propaganda campaign to spread misinformation
- Leveraged its supply chain monopoly for global influence
This is a breaking news story, refresh the page for updates.
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