Two New COVID Cases Discovered At ‘The White House’

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Two new Coronavirus cases have been discovered “at the White House,” according to a Friday memo from the White House Correspondents Association that CNN’s Brian Stelter reported on. A journalist — whose identity has not been apparently publicly identified as of Friday afternoon — received a preliminary positive test result for the virus, and a White House staffer who sits in what Stelter’s reporting called the “lower press” area has received a confirmed positive result. As of Friday afternoon, that White House staffer does not seem to have been publicly identified either.

Additionally, Stelter reports, another journalist in the White House press corps has also tested positive, but that journalist was last at the White House last Saturday. The news of these two new Coronavirus cases around the White House — and another among the broader press corps — comes after President Donald Trump revealed shortly before 1 A.M. on Friday that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the virus. Their positive test results came after top Trump aide Hope Hicks, who traveled with the president twice this week, had also tested positive for the virus. On Friday morning, ABC’s Jonathan Karl said that he’d been informed that Hicks was “quite sick.”

On late Friday morning, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows claimed that the president was experiencing only “mild” symptoms and attempted to deflect concern away from his condition, although for some reason, the president backed out of a Friday conference call about Coronavirus-related support for seniors, suggesting that there might be more to his condition than White House staffers let on. He could be developing a cough that’s manageable but nevertheless makes it difficult to hold an uninterrupted conversation — but still, the White House simply has not been a credible source with the Trump administration in place, so in a time of national concern, there’s a struggle.

Trump appeared next to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on a debate stage this past Tuesday, but Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, both tested negative for the virus early Friday. There’s a vice presidential debate planned for next week, and a source in the Biden camp told PBS reporter Lisa Desjardins that the Biden campaign apparently “wants the distance by candidates to be much greater” than the distance during the Tuesday presidential debate. Specifically, they want the candidates to be “from 7 to 14 feet away from each other and moderator Susan Page,” Desjardins says.