White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany Tests Positive For Coronavirus
Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany shared on Twitter on Monday morning that she has tested positive for the coronavirus, the latest White House official to test positive for the virus after President Trump himself was hospitalized after contracting the disease.
"After testing negative consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms," she wrote.
October 5, 2020
"No reporters, producers, or members of the press are listed as close contacts by the White House Medical Unit. Moreover, I definitively had no knowledge of Hope Hicks' diagnosis prior to holding a White House press briefing on Thursday," she added.
Thursday is the day when Hicks, one of the president's closest aides, reportedly received a positive coronavirus test. That news broke Thursday night after McEnany had held a press briefing and the president had traveled to a fundraiser in New Jersey. Trump announced he had tested positive early Friday morning.
Reporters pressed McEnany on Friday about whether she would wear masks in her briefings going forward, and she declined to comment.
On Sunday evening, McEnany did an interview on Fox and spoke to reporters in the White House driveway without wearing a mask.
White House communications director Alyssa Farah tweeted her support for McEnany and noted that senior White House staff, which includes the press secretary, are considered essential employees and "are expected to continue to work — while taking precautions — until a medical recommendation otherwise is given."
One thing I want to clear up: Senior White House staff are deemed Essential Personnel by CDC & DHS. This means they are expected to continue to work - while taking precautions - until a medical recommendation otherwise is given.— Alyssa Farah (@Alyssafarah) October 5, 2020
In her statement Monday morning, McEnany said she will "begin the quarantine process" and "continue working on behalf of the American People remotely."
McEnany is the latest person in the president's orbit to have tested positive for the coronavirus. Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien and former top adviser Kellyanne Conway have also tested positive as have former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who helped Trump prepare for the first presidential debate, and three Republican senators.
Three White House journalists have also tested positive for the virus. In a statement Monday, the White House Correspondents' Association wished McEnany a "swift recovery," adding:
"As of this moment we are not aware of additional cases among White House journalists, though we know some are awaiting test results. We strongly encourage our members to continue following CDC guidance on mask-wearing and distancing — especially when at the White House — and urge journalists to seek testing if they were potentially exposed."
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.