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2 Joint Chiefs of Staff in quarantine over potential coronavirus infection

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday delivers his first remarks as the 32nd CNO during a change of office ceremony held at the Washington Navy Yard. Gilday, former Director, Joint Staff, relieved Adm. John Richardson, the 31st CNO. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan U. Kledzik/Released)
May 11, 2020

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday and the chief of the National Guard Bureau Gen. Joseph Lengyel are both self-quarantining after each encountered a potential coronavirus case.

Gilday entered self-quarantine after having close contact with a family member who tested positive with coronavirus, according to a Pentagon statement provided to The Washington Examiner on Monday. Gilday was reportedly absent from a Saturday meeting of the Joint Chiefs.

“The CNO, Admiral Gilday, had contact with a COVID-positive family member and, although testing negative, will be quarantining this week,” the statement said.

Lengyel reportedly tested positive in one coronavirus test, but a second test result was negative, suggesting Lengyel’s initial diagnosis may have been a false positive. Lengyel was also absent from the Saturday meeting.

“Lengyel tested positive for COVID Saturday afternoon, but a subsequent test Saturday was negative,” the Pentagon said. “He will undergo a third test on Monday morning to confirm his negative status.”

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The potential coronavirus cases among Gilday and Lengyel came just days after a personal White House valet for President Donald Trump tested positive with coronavirus. Katie Miller, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, and wife to Trump’s aide Stephen Miller also tested positive on Friday.

Trump and Pence both returned negative test results after the valet, who is assigned to the White House as a member of the U.S. Navy, returned his positive test results.

On Monday, a spokesperson for Pence denied reports he was isolating himself after Miller’s positive test results, and noted Pence has been receiving daily tests for coronavirus infection.

“Vice President Pence will continue to follow the advice of the White House Medical Unit and is not in quarantine,” said Pence spokesperson Devin O’Malley. “Additionally, Vice President Pence has tested negative every single day and plans to be at the White House [Monday].”

White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci, along with FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn and CDC director Robert Redfield all announced they would be self-isolating following the coronavirus cases around the White House, The New York Times reported. Hahn and Redfield are reportedly looking to remain in isolation for up to two weeks and continue to assist the coronavirus response effort from home. Fauci said he would undergo a “modified quarantine” after what he described as a “low risk” encounter with an infected staff member.

The White House has also implemented temperature checks for guests and reporters entering White House grounds and has enforced spacing in between seats at regular coronavirus press briefings, in line with federal social distancing guidelines.