Hope Hicks, one of President Trump’s closest confidantes, has tested positive for COVID-19, Bloomberg reports. She traveled with the commander in chief to campaign rallies in Minnesota and Ohio this week, as well as to Tuesday’s presidential debate, and she was seen in photos both with and without a face covering.
A White House spokesman said safety protocols were in place to protect the president despite members of his circle contracting the virus. “The president takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously,” spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement to Bloomberg. “White House Operations collaborates with the physician to the President and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidance and best practices for limiting Covid-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible, both on complex and when the president is traveling.”
There was reportedly no evidence that the commander in chief had contracted the virus. According to The New York Times, White House officials have been aware since Wednesday evening that Hicks had contracted the virus.
Hicks, who is said to be showing symptoms and was quarantined on Air Force One while traveling back from Minnesota, is the latest in a growing circle around the president to contract the new coronavirus—Mike Pence’s press secretary tested positive in May, as did Trump’s own valet. Others include National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, a Marine One pilot, a White House cafeteria worker, and multiple Secret Service agents.
Trump has publicly mocked the use of face masks as a protective measure against COVID-19 despite the consensus of public health officials, including his own advisers, that they effectively slow the virus. He himself wears one infrequently, and he has poked fun at former