Evan Fuchi / AFP
Updated at 9:15 a.m. ET
Mark Meadows, president of President Trump’s office, has tested positive for the Coronavirus. He is the latest person in the president’s inner circle to catch the virus, which is spreading across the country.
Reporters were last seen on election night, when Trump delivered a defiant speech to supporters gathered in the East Room of the White House. Meadows entered the room in front of Trump’s adult children ahead of his remarks.
Bloomberg News was the first to report the development late Friday evening. A senior official who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to publicly discuss Meadows’ health information confirmed the news to NPR. A White House spokesman declined to comment.
The news comes as President Trump is still in a tight race for re-election, as Democratic candidate Joe Biden is shy about winning.
Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images
The Meadows is the latest version of many of Trump’s White House aides and his HIV campaign. President Trump himself was hospitalized with COVID-19 in October. First lady Melania Trump and their son Barron have also contracted the virus.
Cases are setting new records across the US, and the country now averages more than 94,000 cases per day, double what it was a month ago.
Meadows, who frequently wore face masks, traveled extensively with Trump in the final stages of his campaign as he raced across the swing states. He was seen in close proximity to most of Trump’s top employees as well as with Vice President Pence. He also joined Trump on an Election Day visit to the Trump campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.
Trump has always undermined guidance even from his administration regarding pandemic protocols, including social distancing and wearing masks. The president continued to hold massive election rallies where most of his supporters gathered near each other and did not wear masks.
Biden has made the coronavirus pandemic central to his campaign and argument against Trump. In a speech on Friday evening, Biden said that he and his fellow election runner Kamala Harris have already begun planning for the coming months and how to combat the virus, expecting the presidency to finally be announced on his behalf.