President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has coronavirus, according to reports on Friday.
The news comes a week after the White House official traveled with Trump in campaign visits across Pennsylvania that included stops in Bucks, Reading, Lancaster and Butler counties.
Meadows was seen last Saturday without a mask mingling with guests during a 500-person, invite-only rally at Upper Makefield in Bucks, where Trump spoke for more than an hour before continuing on the campaign trail.
The campaign would make three additional stops that day in Pennsylvania. Large public rallies were held in Reading, Williamsport and in Butler County, outside Pittsburgh. On Oct.26, the campaign was in Reading and Lancaster County, but it is not known if Meadows attended those events.
Meadows was seen in an Associated Press photo Nov. 2 without a mask at a Reading airport with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
It was not clear when Meadows tested positive, according to Bloomberg News, but sources told the outlet that Meadows informed a group of advisers of his diagnosis after Election Day.
Meadows was present with Trump when he visited his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. The chief of staff was seen not wearing a face mask. He was also in attendance at a White House gathering that evening and came into contact with Trump family members, according to reports.
ABC News and CNN have also confirmed Meadows has the virus. Campaign official Nick Trainer also tested positive for the virus, according to The Wall Street Journal and NBC News.
His positive test comes a month after Trump’s own bout with the virus, which saw him hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in early October. In the wake of Trump’s diagnosis, several White House aides also tested positive for the virus, including press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and former counselor Kellyanne Conway. Melania and Barron Trump also were positive.
At least five aides to Vice President Mike Pence, including his chief of staff Marc Short, tested positive last month as well, according to reports.
When Meadows acknowledged late last month that the Trump administration wouldn’t be able to do much about the spread of COVID-19, he came under fire from critics who said the administration has not done enough to prevent spread.
“We’re not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows told CNN’s “State of the Union,” adding that “we are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations.
(c)2020 Bucks County Courier Times, Levittown, Pa.
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