A staffer to Vice President Mike Pence has tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus Friday, one day after the White House confirmed that a personal valet to President Donald Trump contracted the deadly illness, according to Bloomberg News.
The infection has delayed Pence’s planned visit to Iowa by an hour. Several staffers temporarily disembarked Air Force 2, though it’s reportedly “wheels up now” for the key battleground state. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue along with Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) are traveling with the vice president to the Hawkeye State from Washington, D.C.
NEWS: Pence flight to Iowa delayed an hour after a staffer tested positive for coronavirus, I’m told. Some aides disembarked AF2. Wheels up now for Iowa.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) May 8, 2020
On Wednesday, President Trump was briefed that one of his valets tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting him and the vice president to once again get tested for the disease. Both have since tested negative for the virus.
“We were recently notified by the White House Medical Unit that a member of the United States Military, who works on the White House campus, has tested positive for Coronavirus,” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told CNN in a statement. “The President and the Vice President have since tested negative for the virus and they remain in great health.”
The White House is using Abbott Labs tests that can deliver results in under 15 minutes.
In March, a Pence staffer tested positive for the coronavirus. Their identity remains unknown.
The White House has taken a series of precautions to protect White House officials from the virus, including administering tests to individuals working closely with President Trump and Vice President Pence.