A member of the U.S. Navy and personal valet to Donald Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus, CNN first reported on Thursday, a development that raises questions of whether the president has been exposed to the virus.
The White House said that the president has since tested negative, along with Vice President Mike Pence. In a statement, Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said that “we were recently notified by the White House Medical Unit that a member of the United States military, who works on the White House campus, has tested positive for coronavirus. The president and the vice president have since tested negative for the virus and they remain in great health.”
Members of the U.S. Navy are assigned to the White House to assist the First Family.
According to CNN, a White House source said that the valet exhibited symptoms on Wednesday morning. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are being tested regularly, the network reported. Press access to the White House grounds has been restricted since March, and reporters who go to briefings have been getting temperature checks and, at one point, were tested themselves for the virus.
Testing has been a significant issue as a number of states gradually reopen sectors of their economies this month. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that “if we tested every single American in this country at this moment, we’d have to retest them an hour later, and then an hour later after that. Because at any moment, you could theoretically contract this virus. So the notion that everyone needs to be tested is just simply nonsensical.
She added, “The people who need to be tested are vulnerable populations. That’s why Dr. [Deborah] Birx has repeatedly emphasized we need to surge nursing homes with the testing, meat-processing facilities. That’s where the testing is needed. We have to be strategic with our testing and we have done that so far.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.