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The White House has now become a COVID-19 hotspot, less than one week after Donald Trump fell ill with the virus. He entered the Walter Reed Medical Centre in Baltimore on Friday and exited yesterday after just 72 hours at the facility. The President returns to an office in chaos, however, as several White House aides and politicians have contracted coronavirus.
Who has contracted COVID-19 in the White House?
The White House coronavirus outbreak didn’t start with Mr Trump, but several Republican operatives.
Reports emerged on Thursday indicating senior aide Hope Hicks had tested positive for COVID-19.
She formed part of the President’s team as he travelled to Ohio for his first debate against Joe Biden and allegedly infected him there.
Ms Hicks may also have infected First Lady Melania Trump, who tested positive for the virus on the same day as her husband.
Not long before, both Mr and Mrs Trump had attended an event confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, where the first tendrils of the outbreak emerged.
Several other Republican names contracted the disease there, including more advisers and two senators.
One of those infected is White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, bringing the total to at least 11.
The following people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the White House:
- President Donald Trump
- First Lady Melania Trump
- Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany
- Former Republican governor for New Jersey Chris Christie
- Former White House counsel Kellyanne Conway
- Utah senator Mike Lee
- North Carolina senator Thom Tillis
- Hope Hicks
- Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien
- Nicholas Luna, Presidential “body man”
- Republican Party chair Ronna McDaniel
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The latest White House Republican to test positive was Kayleigh McEnany, who announced her infection on Monday.
The press chief poses the greatest risk of spreading the disease outside of the West Wing, due to her frequent contact with journalists.
She conducted a press briefing on Thursday, not long after the diagnosis of Hope Hicks.
Ms McEnany conducted a second maskless briefing on Sunday, potentially endangering the gaggle around her.
The White House has since insisted no reporters contracted COVID-19 as a result.
However, staff insist the government is in disarray, in part due to lacklustre guidance.
Senior staff have anonymously complained to journalists about being kept in the dark as infections spread, with little advice on how to proceed.
Mr Trump has now returned, raising fears his presence could derail attempts to contain the disease.
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