Politico

Pence’s chief of staff tests positive for coronavirus


Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday, according to the vice president’s office.

Pence, who tested negative Saturday, will continue to headline campaign events 10 days before the election even though his office acknowledged he “is considered a close contact” with Short.

Pence “will maintain his schedule in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel,” said Devin O’Malley, Pence’s press secretary. The decision was made in consultation with the White House Medical Unit.

“Vice President Pence and Mrs. Pence both tested negative for COVID-19 today, and remain in good health,” O’Malley said.

Pence is expected to travel to North Carolina on Sunday and Wisconsin on Monday.

Short, 50, has begun quarantine and assisting in the contact tracing process, according to Pence’s office. Short did not travel with Pence on Saturday. Several staffers deemed to be close contacts with him were pulled from the trip before departure as well, either leaving the plane or not arriving to travel.

Marty Obst, Pence’s top political aide, tested positive last week, according to a campaign source. Obst did not respond to questions Saturday. Katie Miller, Pence’s communications director and wife of President Donald Trump’s top adviser Stephen Miller, tested positive for Covid-19 in May.

Pence, who leads the coronavirus task force, appeared in Lakeland and Tallahassee, Florida, on Saturday. The day before he visited his home state of Indiana, where he voted in person in Indianapolis, and also visited Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Trump announced Oct. 2 that he tested positive and was taken to Walter Reed Medical Center for treatment. He resumed his public schedule less than two weeks later and is now engaged in a frenetic campaign schedule, holding multiple rallies a day. On Saturday, he was in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin.

More than two dozen people with ties to the White House have tested positive, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, an outside adviser to Trump, and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. First Lady Melania Trump and son, Barron, also tested positive.

Trump continues to downplay the coronavirus pandemic even as infections are again rising and a dozen states set new records.

“We’re rounding the turn,” Trump said in North Carolina “We’re doing great, our numbers are incredible.”

Gabby Orr and Meridith McGraw contributed.

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