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COVID-19 Coverage

Pence Aide Tests Positive For Coronavirus; Contact Tracing Ongoing

Vice President Pence holds guidelines for reducing the spread of coronavirus at a White House briefing.
Jim Watson
/
AFP via Getty Images
Vice President Pence holds guidelines for reducing the spread of coronavirus at a White House briefing.

Updated at 8:03 p.m. ET

The White House disclosed its first case of the coronavirus on Friday night: a person who works in the office of Vice President Pence.

"Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual," Pence spokeswoman Katie Miller said in a statement. She declined to give further details.

"Further contact tracing is being conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines," Miller said.

The White House has stepped up measures this week to practice the kind of social distancing that Trump and Pence have urged the nation to use. Anyone coming close to them has their temperature taken. There have been efforts to reduce the number of people coming into the crowded confines of the building.

Pence told reporters earlier this week that he has not been tested for the virus because the White House doctor had told him he didn't need to be.

Trump was tested a week ago and the White House physician said he tested negative. Trump said he opted to do the test after facing a barrage of questions about a dinner he had with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Florida two weeks ago. After that dinner, 23 members of Bolsonaro's delegation tested positive for the virus. Bolsonaro has said he twice tested negative.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Roberta Rampton is NPR's White House editor. She joined the Washington Desk in October 2019 after spending more than six years as a White House correspondent for Reuters. Rampton traveled around America and to more than 20 countries covering President Trump, President Obama and their vice presidents, reporting on a broad range of political, economic and foreign policy topics. Earlier in her career, Rampton covered energy and agriculture policy.