White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday after President Donald Trump was hospitalized with the virus last week.
McEnany announced her positive test result in a statement on Monday morning, saying that she had tested positive after testing negative for the virus numerous times, including every day since Thursday, the day of the president’s diagnosis. McEnany said she had yet to experience any symptoms from the illness.
“After testing negative consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms. No reporters, producers, or members of the press are listed as close contacts by the White House Medical Unit. Moreover, I definitively had no knowledge of Hope Hicks’ diagnosis prior to holding a White House press briefing on Thursday. As an essential worker, I have worked diligently to provide needed information to the American people at this time. With my recent positive test, I will begin the quarantine process and will continue working on behalf of the American People remotely,” McEnany said in a statement.
— Kayleigh McEnany 45 Archived (@PressSec45) October 5, 2020
McEnany is the latest in a number of high-profile Trump administration officials and top lawmakers to test positive for COVID-19 in the past week. The president and first lady Melania tested positive for the disease late Thursday. Former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway tested positive for the disease on Friday night.
A team of doctors has been treating Trump at Walter Reed Medical Center since Friday. Doctors say that the president may be released from the hospital as soon as Monday afternoon if his condition continues to improve.
On Sunday, Trump was cleared by doctors to drive by a crowd of supporters that had formed outside of Walter Reed wishing the president a speedy recovery. Trump had teased the drive-by in a video put out earlier that day from his twitter account, announcing a “little surprise” for his supporters outside.
“Appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the President and all those supporting it, including PPE,” the White House said in a statement. “The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.”
The drive-by was criticized by members of the press and others for putting Secret Service agents at risk for the disease, though medical doctors approved of the stunt and Secret Service members wore personal protective equipment while around Trump. The White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) also criticized the president’s action because he did not bring a White House reporter along on his drive-by.
“It is outrageous for the president to have left the hospital — even briefly — amid a health crisis without a protective pool present to ensure that the American people know where their president is and how he is doing. Now more than ever, the American public deserves independent coverage of the president so they can be reliably informed about his health,” said WHCA President Zeke Miller, a reporter for The Associated Press.