WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- White House National Security adviser Robert O’Brien was tested positive for coronavirus as confirmed by an official of the administration.
- The official said O’Brien did not expose the President or the Vice President, and he is now working remotely with only mild symptoms.
- It was not the first time that the White House faced a similar COVID-19 situation as several cases were recorded earlier.
Robert O’Brien, President Trump’s National Security adviser, has tested positive for coronavirus, as confirmed by White House official on Monday.
The official said that O’Brien, following his diagnosis, has only shown mild symptoms and was working off-site while undergoing self-quarantine.
The administration official also clarified that the President or the Vice President was never exposed to the adviser, adding that the National Security Council’s work was never interrupted.
The recent positive result marks O’Brien as the first top-level White House officer to be infected with COVID-19. To date, the virus has already infected over 4.2 million Americans and surpassing a death toll of 145,000 in the country.
Hired September last year as a national security adviser, O’Brien is said to be one of Trump’s most reliable officials. He regularly reports with Trump about national security concerns, which may have put him at a higher risk of contracting the virus.
This month, O’Brien visited Europe to discuss with his colleagues from Italy, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The adviser also frequently goes on trips across the country with Trump for security matters.
The adviser is also a member of the administration’s coronavirus task force, which sits together every week.
It was not confirmed, though, when O’Brien joined a meeting with the task force in person.
It was Bloomberg that first reported O’Brien got infected. The outlet also said that O’Brien might have gotten the bug while having a break from work since he was on leave some since last week.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow spoke to reporters on Monday and remarked that O’Brien’s daughter was already sick before he got the disease. Kudlow added that he hadn’t talked to O’Brien on Monday and can’t determine if the adviser already has the virus.
The recent case of COVID-19 reaching the oval office happened despite the measures to keep the President and Vice President safe. The White House, however, has become lenient with some rules, including taking away the requirements of wearing face protection, and temperature checks to some senior staffers.
It was earlier reported that one of Trump’s valets and the vice president’s press secretary was tested positive for COV ID-19.
Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is currently dating Donald Trump Jr., and campaign officer of Trump, was also tested positive with the virus this month.
A staff of a cafeteria in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building was also tested positive with coronavirus as well as a U.S. Marine deployed to Trump’s helicopter squadron for the top executive’s scheduled visit to Bedminster, N.J., golf club.
Source: The Hill