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White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has tested positive for COVID-19 along with several other white house officials and a campaign advisor to President Trump, multiple news outlets reported.
The new cases at the White House come as cases of the new coronavirus are exploding across the U.S. More than 126,000 new cases were reported on Friday, a new single day record.
“Daily cases are skyrocketing,” said former Vice President Joe Biden in a brief address to the nation on Friday night, “It is now believed that we could see as many as 200,000 cases in a single day,” he said.
Meadows told people after Tuesday’s election that he had contracted COVID, according to CNN. It’s not clear when he first tested positive.
He was last seen in public on Tuesday night at an election party in the east room of the White House, according to NPR.
Meadows has been one of the people in President Trump’s inner circle who has been skeptical of personal protective measures, like wearing a mask. He is 61 years old.
In mid-October, Meadows refused to talk to reporters after they asked him to keep his mask on in a video that was widely circulated on social media.
He told CNN’s Jake Tapper later the same month that the U.S. was “not going to control the pandemic,” a statement that was seen as an admission that the Trump Administration had given up on trying to control the spread of the deadly virus in the U.S. ahead of the approval of a vaccine.
According to the New York Times , at least four other White House officials have also tested positive for COVID-19. The Times, citing a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the cases, said White House staff have been asked to keep quiet about the cases, which appear to be part of a continuing outbreak that has included President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and their son, Barron.
The New York Times