- The Washington Times - Friday, March 20, 2020

A member of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff tested positive for coronavirus, the White House announced Friday.

The notice signaled the closest the deadly disease has come to President Trump since the outbreak began more than two months ago, though the White House said it is unlikely either Mr. Trump or Mr. Pence were exposed.

“This evening we were notified that a member of the Office of the Vice President tested positive for the Coronavirus. Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual. Further contact tracing is being conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines,” Katie Miller, press secretary to the vice president, said in a statement.

Contact tracing refers to the process in which disease trackers figure how who might have been exposed to the disease, such as through meetings or other interactions.

Mr. Trump said he took the COVID-19 test, citing hounding from the media, but it came back negative.

Mr. Pence says he hasn’t taken the test.

More than 18,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus in the U.S., though this infection raises the alarm in official Washington.

So far two members of Congress, Reps. Ben McAdams of Utah and Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, have tested positive.

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