White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany is quarantining after becoming the latest in President Donald Trump‘s sphere Monday to test 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,” the press secretary wrote.
“No reporters, producers, or members of the press are listed as close contacts by the White House Medical Unit,” McEnany wrote. “Moreover, I definitely had no knowledge of Hope Hicks’ diagnosis prior to holding a White House press briefing on Thursday.”
The White House has faced criticism for continuing business as normal since the infections. Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed that the President traveled to a fundraiser at Bedminster golf club Thursday after the White House learned Hicks had tested positive.
According to a statement issued Sunday, the White House sent the New Jersey officials a list of 206 fundraiser attendees.
McEnany informally briefed reporters outside of the West Wing Sunday, according to USA Today.
“As an essential worker, I have worked diligently to provide needed information to the American People at this time,” she added. “With my recent positive test, I will begin the quarantine process and will continue working on behalf of the American People remotely.”
McEnany was among several officials who attended a ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House late last month when Trump introduced Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Most officials who have tested positive over the last week attended that ceremony.
McEnany’s infection could open the door to more infections within the White House. Nicholas Luna, an assistant to the President, as has Kellyanne Conway, a former Trump counselor. The President’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, has also tested positive.
Two of the press secretary’s deputies have also tested positive, CNN’s Kaitlan Collins reported after McEnany confirmed her positive test.
Three Republican Senators have tested positive, as has Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. First Lady Melania Trump tested positive the same day as Trump.
McEnany is married to Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Sean Gilmartin. Gilmartin only made two regular-season appearances with the team this year and did not receive an invite to its postseason roster.
Trump is hoping for a Monday discharge from the military hospital where he is being treated for COVID-19. On Sunday, he briefly ventured out while contagious to salute cheering supporters by motorcade in a move that disregarded precautions meant to contain the deadly virus that has killed more than 209,000 Americans.
White House officials said Trump was anxious to be released after three nights at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where doctors revealed on Sunday that his blood oxygen level dropped suddenly twice in recent days and that they gave him a steroid typically only recommended for the very sick. Still, the doctors said Trump’s health is improving and volunteered that he could be discharged as early as Monday to continue the remainder of his treatment at the White House.
“This is an important day as the president continues to improve and is ready to get back to a normal work schedule,” Meadows told Fox News on Monday. He said the determination on whether Trump would leave the hospital won’t be made until later in the day after the President is evaluated by his medical team, but that Trump was “optimistic” he could be released Monday.
— Kayleigh McEnany 45 Archived (@PressSec45) October 5, 2020