A reporter who attended White House briefings this week has tested positive for the coronavirus, the White House Correspondents’ Association said on Thursday, raising further concerns about the health of staff and journalists working in the building.
The individual, who wore a mask during press conferences with Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday and Wednesday, has no symptoms and spent no additional time at the White House this week, the group said, adding that it was contacting individuals who had been in close contact with the person.
The news comes as President Donald Trump has resumed a robust travel and events schedule despite concerns that he is exposing himself, his staff and others to greater risk of the contracting the deadly respiratory disease.
Nine of Trump’s campaign staffers in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month for his first rally since the pandemic began tested positive for coronavirus. Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, and one of Trump’s personal valets were also diagnosed with the disease in May.
Some measures have been taken to ensure greater safety during the news conferences, including allowing only a limited the number of journalists to attend in order to increase spacing, as well as coronavirus testing and mandatory mask wearing.
A suspected case of coronavirus within the White House press corps in March turned out to be negative.
The virus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, has killed over 130,000 Americans and infected more than 3 million, led by a recent surge of cases in the south and west.
(Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Richard Chang)