“This evening we were notified that a member of the Office of the Vice President tested positive for the Coronavirus. Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual,” said Katie Miller. “Further contact tracing is being conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines.”
Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short said Saturday that the staff member diagnosed with the coronavirus “is recovering and has very, very mild symptoms.”
“He had cold-like symptoms for about a day and a half, and had test results come back Thursday night. He was not in the office Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday,” he told reporters at the White House.
Short said that the vice president’s office has “taken more precautions,” and that the White House physician’s office “gave guidance about people he was interacting with previous to that.”
“Some staff will probably be encouraged to abide by the quarantines and stay home,” he said.
Asked if there would be more testing of White House staffers and task force members, Short said there might be, but he did confirm that Pence has not yet been tested.
Pence has been the Trump administration’s point person on coordinating the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
While the staffer is the closest confirmed case to Pence that is publicly known, it isn’t his first potential brush with the virus.
Pence’s task force still faces serious obstacles. The federal government still does not have a handle on the scale of the pandemic in the US, due to early missteps and insufficient testing. Hospitals are beginning to express serious concerns about shortages of crucial medical equipment, from protective gear to ventilators.
Recent cases on Capitol Hill have added to fears of community spread of coronavirus among Washington politicians.
Republicans Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Meadows all opted to self-quarantine after potential or confirmed contact with the CPAC attendee who tested positive. Many others have done so after interacting with constituents or other individuals who later tested positive for the virus.
Some have been able to confirm that they have not been infected. Gaetz, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky have all announced over the past two weeks that they tested negative for coronavirus.
This story has been updated with additional background.
CNN’s Michael Warren, Jeremy Diamond, Lauren Fox, and Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.