WebMD News Brief

A Trump Valet Tests Positive for COVID-19

photo of coronavirus task force

May 8, 2020 -- One of President Donald Trump’s personal valets has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to CNN. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were tested again by the White House doctor and had negative results.

The valet is a member of the U.S. Navy and part of a military unit dedicated to the White House, the news outlet reported. Hogan Gidley, deputy White House press secretary, released a statement on Thursday.

“We were recently notified by the White House Medical Unit that a member of the United States Military, who works on the White House campus, has tested positive for Coronavirus," according to the statement. “The President and the Vice President have since tested negative for the virus and they remain in great health.”

White House valets often help the president and his family with various personal tasks and assignments, such as meals and drinks in the West Wing or while traveling. The president calls valets with a button, according to Politico, and daily interactions happen often.

The valet who tested positive has not been identified, CNN reported, but a White House source said he began experiencing symptoms on Wednesday morning.

During a Thursday afternoon meeting in the Oval Office, Trump told reporters that he, Pence and other high-level White House officials would now be tested on a daily basis, according to The Hill. Until now, Trump, Pence and other senior staffers were tested weekly with the rapid 15-minute Abbott Labs test.

"I’ve had very little contact, personal contact, with this gentleman,” Trump said. “I know who he is, good person, but I’ve had very little contact.”

He added about the positive test, “It’s a little bit strange, but it’s one of those things.”

Before Trump traveled to Arizona on Tuesday to visit a Honeywell facility, he told reporters that he wasn’t concerned about working at close distances to others due to the regular testing, according to CNBC.

“The test result comes back in five minutes, and we have great testing. Or they wouldn't be allowed to travel with me,” Trump said. “It’s not my choice. It’s a very strong group of people that want to make sure they are tested, including Secret Service.”

WebMD Health News Brief Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on May 08, 2020

Sources

CNN: “One of Trump’s personal valets has tested posted for coronavirus.”

Politico: “Trump’s personal valet tests positive for coronavirus.”

The Hill: “Trump says he’ll be tested daily for coronavirus.”

CNBC: “Trump meets with Texas Gov. Abbott after valet tests positive for coronavirus.”

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