Staffers

Concern rises for White House residence staffers as their workplace emerges as a virus hot spot

His uncle, John Johnson, was also a butler, and the flouting of safety protocols that has made the White House a coronavirus hot spot has also put the career civil servants who work where President Trump and first lady Melania Trump live at risk of exposure. It has Allen puzzled and incensed.

“I would be begging my dad and uncle, ‘You need to get the hell up out of there,’ ” he said. “It’s like: ‘Get out! Get out!’ ”

The White House residence staff members are largely Black and Latino, and often elderly, according to Kate Anderson Brower, who compiled a trove of interviews with former staffers for her book “The Residence.” Numbering 90-some full-time ushers, butlers, housekeepers, valets, florists, engineers and cooks charged with maintaining the historical house and creating a comfortable home free from prying eyes, they work more closely with the first family than perhaps anyone else in that building. These employees often keep their positions for decades and work for administration after administration, viewing their job as holding up the integrity of the White House regardless of who is in office.

“They’re supporting an institution, not a singular presidency,” said Anita McBride, who was Laura Bush’s chief of staff and is a White House historian for American University.

Discretion, too, is a key component of a residence staffer’s job. Speaking out about anything, including working conditions, can be a cause for dismissal. Two members of the housekeeping department who tested positive several weeks ago were told to use “discretion” when discussing their diagnosis, according to a New York Times report Monday that The Washington Post confirmed.

As the residence staff has been caring for the first family, a chorus of concern has started to rise among former White House and residence staff members about whether

White House staffers say they are relying on ‘Twitter and TV’ to tell them who has become infected

Several people who spent time with President Trump last week before he tested positive for COVID-19, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), found out about his results through the news, The Wall Street Journal reports.

White House officials told the Journal a medical team is conducting contact tracing, working to notify individuals who were exposed to infected staffers. On Friday, Christie, who helped Trump prepare for last Tuesday’s debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, said that he had yet to hear from anyone at the White House. Christie tweeted on Saturday that he had tested positive for COVID-19, and later shared that as a precaution, he checked into a New Jersey hospital.

Christie was at the White House on the morning of Sept. 26 for debate prep, and was in close proximity with multiple people who later tested positive for COVID-19, including Trump’s close adviser Hope Hicks, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, and Trump himself. Later that day, Christie and Conway gathered in the Rose Garden for Trump’s announcement of Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee. Not very many people wore masks to this event, and several guests have since tested positive, including Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who was spotted hugging and kissing other guests.

Other people who participated in debate practices with Trump, including his lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and senior campaign adviser Jason Miller have said they tested negative for the virus. Giuliani said he learned about Hicks’ positive test results from the news, but White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows called to notify him of Trump’s diagnosis.

Several White House staffers told the Journal no one is doing a very good job internally of conveying information on test results or

White House staffers get email saying to stay home if they experience coronavirus symptoms

White House staffers were urged in an email Sunday to “please stay home” and “do not come to work” if they have exhibited any symptoms of the coronavirus.

An all-staff email obtained by New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi directed members of the White House staff to “immediately contact your primary care provider” and “inform their supervisors” in the event of symptoms being presented.

“If you or your colleagues believe that you should be practicing telework, or have questions about your ability to do so, please contact your supervisor,” the email reads.

The guidance for White House employees came almost three days after the president announced his own diagnosis of COVID-19, along with his wife’s, shortly after the confirmation that Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksDoctors, White House staff offer conflicting messages on president’s health Trump given second dose of Remdesivir ‘without complication’, ‘not yet out of the woods’, Conley says Barr will not quarantine following potential exposure to COVID-19 MORE, his longtime aide, had tested positive.

It also comes amid a whirlwind of criticism centered around the White House and allies of the president surrounding the president’s longstanding resistance against publicly taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus; Trump has frequently made public appearances at rallies and various

Two staffers of White House residence tested positive for COVID-19 weeks ago: report

Two members of the White House residence staff who do not come into direct contact with the president or first lady tested positive for the coronavirus about three weeks ago, The New York Times reported Sunday. 

The Times report about the positive tests among the residence staffers, which cited unnamed sources, comes after both President TrumpDonald John TrumpJaime Harrison debates Graham behind plexiglass shield Doctors, White House staff offer conflicting messages on president’s health Trump given second dose of Remdesivir ‘without complication’, ‘not yet out of the woods’, Conley says MORE and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpJaime Harrison debates Graham behind plexiglass shield Doctors, White House staff offer conflicting messages on president’s health Trump given second dose of Remdesivir ‘without complication’, ‘not yet out of the woods’, Conley says MORE have tested positive for the virus. 

Trump said Friday he and his wife tested positive for the virus, but the Times notes that the positive cases among residence staffers raises questions about how and when the president may have been exposed to the virus. 

Asked about the Times’ report over the positive cases among the two residence staffers, White House spokesperson Judd Deere said the White House “does not comment on the personal health information of individual staffers but does take any positive case seriously and has extensive plans and procedures in place to prevent further spread.” 

“A full and complete contact trace consistent with CDC guidelines is included in that and appropriate notifications and recommendations are made,” Deere added in a statement. 

Trump said Friday he tested positive for the coronavirus. He was taken to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center later that day for treatment. 

A number of Republicans within Trump’s orbit have also announced testing positive for the virus after Trump.

Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows says he ‘fully’ expects staffers to get COVID

  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Friday that he “fully” expects other top aides to the president to test positive for the coronavirus after Trump and the first lady’s diagnoses. 
  • Meadows told reporters during an informal briefing on Friday morning that “all of our core staff” have been tested recently and said he has a “mitigation plan” in case others are infected. 
  • “I fully expect that as this virus continues to go on, other people in the White House will certainly have a positive test result,” Meadows said.
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White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Friday morning that he “fully” expects other top aides to the president to test positive for the coronavirus after the president and first lady’s diagnoses. 

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania announced early Friday morning that they had both tested positive for COVID-19. The president’s close aide, Hope Hicks, tested positive for the virus on Thursday morning after developing symptoms Wednesday evening. 

Meadows told reporters during an informal briefing on Friday morning that “all of our core staff” have been tested recently.

“I fully expect that as this virus continues to go on, other people in the White House will certainly have a positive test result,” Meadows said. “We’ve got the mitigation plan in place to make sure that the government not only continues to move forward, but the work of the American people continues to go forward.” 

Meadows also confirmed that the White House knew Trump’s top aide Hope Hicks, who has regular contact with the president, was infected with COVID-19 before Trump attended a fundraising event in New Jersey on Thursday, during which he came in close contact with dozens of people. 

“I’m not going to get into