Ivanka Trump’s personal assistant has tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, adding to the growing number of White House personnel who have come down with the virus.
The assistant has not been around Ivanka Trump for weeks and has been working remotely, according to CNN.
The network reported that both Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who also serves as a senior adviser to the president, tested negative for COVID-19.
A personal assistant to Ivanka Trump (above), the president’s daughter who also serves as an adviser in the White House, is also reported to have tested positive for COVID-19
Eleven members of the United States Secret Service have recently tested positive for COVID-19 while 23 others have recovered from the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
Some 60 employees of the agency charged with protecting President Trump and other senior government officials are currently in quarantine due to the outbreak, according to Department of Homeland Security documents obtained by Yahoo News.
The current active cases of COVID-19 were reported as of Thursday.
It is not known if any of the infected employees were in close contact with Trump or Vice President Mike Pence.
Secret Service agents hold the door for President Trump (center) in May 2018. Eleven members of the Secret Service have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an internet news report
‘To protect the privacy of our employee’s health information and for operational security, the Secret Service is not releasing how many of its employees have tested positive for COVID-19, nor how many of its employees were, or currently are, quarantined,’ Justine Whelan, a Secret Service spokesperson, told Yahoo News.
The Secret Service protects the president, the vice president, and visiting world leaders. It also has security details for living former presidents and other dignitaries.
Whelan told Yahoo News that the agency has been following prevention guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control.
She declined to say how many of those who tested positive worked at the White House.
‘Since the beginning of this pandemic, the Secret Service has been working with all of our public safety partners and the White House Medical Unit to ensure the safety and security of both our protected persons and our employees,’ Whelan said.
‘The Secret Service continues to follow guidance issued by the CDC to ensure the health and welfare of our employees and those they come in contact with.’
The rash of positive tests amongst Secret Service employees is likely to raise fresh questions about the extent to which the Trump administration is adhering to its own guidelines about keeping safe during the pandemic.
Earlier on Friday, it was learned that Katie Miller (second from right), the press secretary for Vice President Mike Pence (second from left), tested positive for COVID-19
Katie Miller (right) is the wife of top Trump adviser Stephen Miller (left). The couple is seen above in September 2019
The CDC recommends that Americans stand at least six feet away from each other, avoid large gatherings, and wear face coverings to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Hours earlier on Friday, it was learned that a staffer who works for Pence tested positive for COVID-19.
Katie Miller, Pence’s press secretary, who tested positive on Friday, had been in recent contact with the vice president.
She is married to Stephen Miller, a top Trump adviser.
The White House had no immediate comment on whether Stephen Miller had been tested or if he was still working out of the White House.
Katie Miller had tested negative Thursday, a day before her positive result.
‘This is why the whole concept of tests aren’t necessarily great,’ Trump said.
‘The tests are perfect but something can happen between a test where it´s good and then something happens.’
The positive test for Katie Miller came one day after White House officials confirmed that a member of the military serving as one of Trump´s valets had tested positive for COVID-19.
Six people who had been in contact with Miller were scheduled to fly with Pence on Friday to Des Moines, Iowa, on Air Force Two.
They were removed from the flight just before it took off, according to a senior administration official.
None of those people were exhibiting symptofms, but were asked to deplane so they could be tested ‘out of an abundance of caution,’ a senior administration official told reporters traveling with Pence.
All six later tested negative, the White House said.
The official said staff in the West Wing are tested regularly but much of Pence’s staff – which works next door in the Executive Office Building – are tested less frequently.
Katie Miller was not on the plane and had not been scheduled to be on the trip.
Pence, who is tested on a regular basis, was tested Friday.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said the administration was stepping up mitigation efforts already recommended by public health experts and taking other unspecified precautions to ensure the safety of the president.
Meadows said the White House was ‘probably the safest place that you can come,’ but he was reviewing further steps to keep Trump and Pence safe.
The White House requires daily temperature checks of anyone who enters the White House complex and has encouraged social distancing among those working in the building.
The administration has also directed regular deep cleaning of all work spaces.
Anyone who comes in close proximity to the president and vice president is tested daily for COVID-19.
‘We’ve already put in a few protocols that we’re looking at, obviously, to make sure that the president and his immediate staff stay safe.
‘But it’s not just the president, it’s all the workers that are here … on a daily basis,’ Meadows said.
Trump’s valet’s case marked the first known instance where a person who has come in close proximity to the president has tested positive since several people present at his private Florida club were diagnosed with COVID-19 in early March.
The valet tested positive Wednesday.
The White House was moving to shore up its protection protocols to protect the nation’s political leaders.
Trump said some staffers who interact with him closely would now be tested daily.
Pence told reporters Thursday that both he and Trump would now be tested daily as well.