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Trump national security adviser tests positive for COVID-19

In this file photo, US National Security advisor Robert O'Brien attends the 14th East Asia Summit in Bangkok on November 4, 2019, on the sidelines of the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit. O'Brien has tested positive for COVID-19, making him the highest-ranking member of President Trump's inner circle known to have contracted the disease. (MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien has tested positive for COVID-19, the White House announced Monday, making him the highest-ranking member of President Trump’s inner circle known to have contracted the disease.

The positive test is the latest prominent reminder that Trump has been unable to escape the virus’s impact as it spikes in communities across the country.

White House officials, in an unsigned statement, said O’Brien’s symptoms are mild and that he has “been self-isolating and working from a secure location off site.”

The statement said “there is no risk of exposure” to Trump or Vice President Mike Pence and said the work of the National Security Council “continues uninterrupted.”

The statement does not say how recently O’Brien, who normally meets regularly or travels with the president, has been with Trump or other senior White House or national security officials.

Nor does it say where and when O’Brien may have been exposed and when he received his test results.

O’Brien, a Los Angeles lawyer before he was named Trump’s fourth national security adviser, is not the first official who regularly comes into contact with the president to contract COVID-19.

Others, including Katie Miller, Pence’s communications director, also tested positive. Trump said last week that he is tested regularly, even as he claimed that the nation’s massive caseload — now above 4 million — stems from testing and not the widening contagion.

Trump’s attempts to push back against the raging pandemic and return to business as usual have been thwarted by the spreading virus.

He was forced to cancel the in-person portion of the Republican National Convention, scheduled for Aug. 24-27, and he has not staged large campaign rallies since coronavirus cases spiked in Tulsa, Okla., after a Trump rally there last month.

And even as professional sports have tried to resume play, the Miami Marlins baseball team on Monday canceled their home opener because of an outbreak among players and coaches, casting doubt on Major League Baseball’s ability to hold a season.


© 2020 Los Angeles Times

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.