White House press sec Kayleigh McEnany tests positive for COVID-19
October 5, 2020
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced Monday that she tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is not currently experiencing symptoms.
She added that according to the White House medical unit, she was not in close contact with any reporters, producers, or members of the press.
McEnany also said that she “definitively had no knowledge” that White House counselor Hope Hicks had tested positive for COVID-19 when McEnany held a press briefing on Thursday.
She briefed reporters without wearing a mask on Friday and Saturday, after the public became aware that both Hicks and President Donald Trump had tested positive for the virus.
McEnany is the latest person in Trump’s orbit to test positive; over the last several days, more than two dozen lawmakers, campaign officials, White House staff, and reporters have been diagnosed with the virus.
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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced Monday that she tested positive for COVID-19.
“After testing negative consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms,” she said in a statement. “No reporters, producers, or members of the press are listed as close contact 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 continued: “As an essential worker, I have worked diligently to provide needed information to the American People at this time. With my recent positive test, I will begin the quarantine process and will continue working on behalf of the American People remotely.”
McEnany briefed the White House press corps on Thursday afternoon after Hicks, a close confidant of President Donald Trump and his White House counselor, tested positive for the disease. McEnany was not wearing a mask at the time. She also briefed reporters on Friday and Saturday after the public became aware that both Hicks and Trump had tested positive for the virus.
McEnany is the latest in Trump’s orbit to test positive for coronavirus, which the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March. To date, the disease has infected over 7 million Americans and killed more than 209,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
In the past several days, more than two dozen lawmakers, campaign officials, reporters, and White House staff have tested positive, including but not limited to:
First Lady Melania Trump
Republican Sen. Thom Tillis
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson
Republican Sen. Mike Lee
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
Former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien
Notre Dame President the Rev. John Jenkins
All the officials listed above attended a White House reception last week for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
The event has since been described as a potential “superspreader” because of the number of people who tested positive for the virus after attending it. The reception featured little social distancing and almost no one wore masks.
Trump announced early Friday, around 1 a.m. ET, that he and the first lady had tested positive for coronavirus. The announcement came after Bloomberg News reported around 8 p.m. ET on Thursday that Hicks had tested positive. About an hour later, the president told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that he was awaiting the results of a coronavirus test following the Hicks news. But The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that when Trump spoke to Hannity, he didn’t disclose that he had already tested positive and was awaiting the results of a second test.
The president was flown to Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday while experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 including a fever and cough. The New York Times also reported — and Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, confirmed on Sunday — that Trump was given supplemental oxygen before being taken to the hospital.
Conley also said Sunday that Trump had to be given another round of supplemental oxygen on Saturday. He did not disclose that information when briefing reporters that day.