The internal government memo, dated Wednesday, says “34 White House staffers and other contacts” have been infected with Covid-19 in recent days. The memo was distributed among senior leadership at FEMA, which is responsible for managing the national response to the pandemic and other disasters.
The memo suggests more people close to President Donald Trump have been infected with the virus than previously known. Trump was treated at Walter Reed military hospital for four days after testing positive for Covid-19.
Others who have tested positive for coronavirus in recent days include first lady Melania Trump; Trump advisors Kellyanne Conway, Hope Hicks and Stephen Miller; White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany; Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien; RNC chair Ronna McDaniel; Republican senators Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin; and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was part of Trump’s presidential debate prep team.
President Trump, Conway, Hicks, Miller, McEnany, Tillis, Lee, and Christie all attended the White House ceremony for Trump’s Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden and did not wear masks or practice social distancing.
At least two members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have also tested positive for coronavirus. Gen. Gary L. Thomas, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps and Adm. Charles W. Ray, the vice commandant of the Coast Guard, have tested positive in recent days; other military leaders who were with Thomas and Ray at a Pentagon meeting Friday, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, and the vice chairman, Gen. John Hyten, are currently in quarantine.
The FEMA memo did not identify the 34 people who have contracted coronavirus. Concerns remain high after Trump returned to the White House on Monday night and immediately removed his mask before entering the building.
More than 7.5 million cases of coronavirus have been reported nationwide and 211,844 people have died from Covid-19 in the U.S. as of Thursday.
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